Real estate is all about connections. Your marketing, including digital and in-person, needs to bring in a constant stream of people you can help. At the same time, you should have a strategy in place to remain connected to customers who've had positive experiences with you in the past.
While the majority of people say they were satisfied with the help their real estate agent gave them, few report using the same agent twice. Some certainly end up moving out of their old agent's service area. Mostly, though, the reason is very different.
They simply forget their previous agent's name.
Heading off the Real Estate "Amnesia Effect"
Only about 17% of people end up using the same agent multiple times.
When you think about the lost time and effort this represents, it is sincerely mind-boggling. It means that, by and large, homeowners (including those selling a home for the first time) also need to take weeks to search for a real estate agent, check their credentials, do interviews, and so on.
Why do all that when they can work with the agent they already know?
From an agent's perspective, this only makes sense. After all, it is much easier to sell to someone who is already a customer than to find a new one. Yet, many newly licensed agents spend years focused on seeking out new leads, when existing customers could be worth 3x to 5x as much.
By staying in touch with existing clients, you not only have the opportunity to meet their future needs. You can also get referral business – sometimes on a regular basis – that might otherwise be impossible for you to access. Unless a customer's close relative becomes an agent, you are the obvious first choice.
All of this demonstrates the inevitable fact that if we want relationships to work for us, we need to put in some work in return. Just like friendships and workplace camaraderie, bonds between you and your former customers require consistent nurturing. Unless you add value, you will be forgotten.
Luckily, there are plenty of ways to do it — even during those years your customer isn't in the market. Let's look at some of the most effective methods around:
Contact us to learn more about how high-performance automation can help deepen your relationships.
In the first year of a real estate agent's career, he or she learns the ropes. In that journey, all agents develop a sense of their interests and strengths. Afterward, a whole new set of challenges is in store.
When rising agents are looking for effective, repeatable processes to fill their sales pipeline, what are they really doing? What is the underlying motivation? We can argue that it's confidence. Building the right processes helps you tackle the unknown with greater energy and enthusiasm.
When you are confident, you feel ready for anything. No matter what happens (or what seems to go wrong!), you have a deep inner knowing that tells you that you can adapt and prevail. But real estate's complexity means most newcomers can't simply "fake it 'til they make it."
They need something more solid and trustworthy to hang their hat on. That's especially true when you're crafting a brand that represents you.
Confidence Is a Winning Trait — and You Can Develop It
No matter where you are in the arc of your career, there are certain practices that can help you bring your confidence to the next level. Confidence, in turn, helps you relate to others — especially clients — with a level of passion impossible to obtain otherwise.
It's confidence that allows real estate agents to stand up proudly and proclaim what they do and who they do it for. Confidence enables you to embrace your unique value instead of trying to be everything to everyone. In exchange, it helps ensure that the right people gravitate toward you.
Confidence isn't pushing the hard sell or "not taking no for an answer," but it's also the magic ingredient that allows real estate professionals to understand that rejections aren't personal, and sometimes it may take 8-10 follow-ups before you connect with someone at the perfect moment.
In short, confidence gives you the power to recognize that "overnight success" is anything but. No one sees the time and effort that goes into everything that comes before the big moment. If confidence is the sense of being ready for whatever comes, it's also a skill you can develop.
Let's look at the most powerful ways for real estate agents to develop their core confidence:
Contact us to learn more about today's premier real estate technology.
A great real estate website is a must in today's industry. Millennials and Generation Z are the majority of homebuyers, and virtually all real estate transactions start online. A website creates an opportunity to build trust with potential customers you haven't even met yet.
Website design is a big topic, and it might be a long way from your interests. But a website is your digital first impression, so every detail should be thought out with care. Luckily, everything gets easier once the planning and setup are complete. Then, your website can start building momentum.
It's no secret some of the most successful real estate agencies find most of their business through their website. By attracting the right prospective customers at the moment they are most interested in what you have to say, a website supercharges your relationships.
Since a website is working for you 24 hours a day, seven days a week, it extends your ability to win leads and move them through your sales funnel. Combined with a repeatable strategy to get regular referrals, a good website means less time chasing down leads and more time really connecting.
Features a Modern Real Estate Website Can't Do Without
It may seem like lots of work to launch a website or improve one that isn't performing. With a plan in hand and the right technology on your side, however, it's easier than ever. Your website is much more than an ordinary brochure: It should make your life, and those of your clients, easier.
Include these features in your website, and you'll be off to a powerful start:
Delta Media Group combines all the features and technologies you need for your breakout real estate website under one roof. Contact us to learn how a better website can empower you and your practice.
What does a real estate firm have in common with the greatest hockey player to ever lace up a pair of skates? More than you might think. In sports, your opponent rarely cooperates with your best-laid plans, and more often than not, success requires innovating on the fly. In real estate, so much of what we do is dictated by both market and broader economic trends. What works one month may be outdated the next, and what works in one type of market may fall flat in another. So how do you get ahead when there's so much inherent uncertainty to contend with within the industry?
Wayne Gretzky said it best: "I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been."
Anticipate, adapt, and thrive. Think one step ahead of what your opponent – or the market – is doing right now, and gain advantages that others miss. In challenging markets, the best aren't satisfied with the status quo. They discover ways to adapt and thrive while others are busy burying their heads in the sand.
When your competition is clinging to the way things have always been or sticking only to the strategies that worked in the past, you have a natural opening to innovate. A willingness to try new things, adapt to shifts in the market and reexamine the effectiveness of old habits gives you a substantial advantage over competitors who aren't willing to do those things.
But if it were as easy as "skating to where the puck will be," why doesn't everyone do it? One reason is that you run the risk of being wrong. But is that really so scary? After all, even Gretzky sometimes missed the mark. The occasional miss is simply the cost of doing business and staying one step ahead of the competition.
You can keep going to where the puck was and get the same results. Or you can skate to where the puck is going, dictate what happens next, and unlock opportunities that your competitors don't even see.
The Time to Innovate is Right Now
If you look at a challenging market as an opportunity, you will see possibilities where others see roadblocks. Before you can innovate, however, it's wise to take stock of how things are right now. One easy place to start is with your marketing. Which marketing activities are generating the most qualified leads? How well are you segmenting leads, and what steps are you taking to convert leads at varying stages of their real estate journey? Are you taking advantage of all of the modern marketing channels available to reach new clients?
These questions are always worth asking, no matter what the market looks like. Discovering what tactics are and aren't working is the first step toward adapting to what comes next. Sometimes, the answer is as simple as doing more of what works and less of what doesn't. At other times, success is all about embracing new ideas.
Here are a few adaptable marketing tactics and tools that every agent should have in their toolkit:
The right real estate CRM makes life much easier for your agents and their clients. You want a CRM that provides easy access to all of the modern marketing tools that agents need to connect with clients and prospects. Of course, you also want your agents to take advantage of everything your CRM offers. This may require some training for less tech-savvy agents or experimentation for agents who are already more comfortable with technology. When agents see the value that the CRM has for marketing, easily accessing client information, and maintaining strong relationships, they should be happy to integrate it into their daily workflow.
Just like with real estate markets, trends with social media can change quite quickly. One thing that doesn't change is how valuable social is for connecting with modern real estate prospects and clients. There are so many effective platforms for social media marketing, which makes it easier for agents to find a platform that suits both their needs and the needs of their clients. If your agents aren't making the most of social media marketing, now is the time to change that and reap the benefits.
What do you do with the prospects who aren't quite ready to make a real estate transaction right now but seem primed to need your services in the relatively near future? Email marketing is a great way to stay in touch, stay top of mind, and be ready to convert when the time is right. Email drip campaigns make it easy to stay in touch through informative, automated email marketing tailored to each client. AI-driven newsletters are ideal for keeping clients up to date on market trends and helping prospects see when the time is right to plan their next move.
A high-quality, feature-rich real estate website is the essential tool that you have for connecting with the vast majority of clients who start their search for real estate services online. It's where people go to search listings, consume your content, learn about your team, and discover all that you have to offer. If you feel like your website could use a "fresh coat of paint," now is the time to get a website that helps your brand stand out from the competition.
People aren't just searching for real estate agents, firms, and listings online. More than ever, they expect to be able to tour a listing in-depth from the comfort of their favorite devices. Virtual open houses, showings, and tours make it easy for buyers to fall in love with homes and for sellers to maximize the marketing impact of their listings.
Providing Your Agents With the Tools and Skills to Thrive
Just like with your business, your agents should be asking themselves questions about what works, what doesn't, and what could be improved. Every agent has strengths, and every agent has some things that they would probably like to do better. Of course, agents shouldn't be alone in their pursuit for improvement, or for new agents, their adjustment to the real estate industry as a whole.
Providing the necessary training, resources, and continuing education for your agents should always be a priority. If you want agents who adapt, you need to give them the tools to do so. The right training can make all the difference for new agents who are trying to gain a foothold in the industry. Continuing education keeps experienced agents fresh while allowing them to adapt more easily to the ever-changing nature of the real estate industry.
It's important to note that training doesn't just apply to agents' day-to-day actions to serve their clients. All the marketing tools mentioned above become much more valuable when agents are trained in how to use them and shown how each tool can help them attract new business. The best agents never stop learning, and the most successful real estate firms provide them with the tools to do just that.
Making Your Investments Work For You
Anticipation isn't the only thing that separates once-in-a-lifetime athletes like Wayne Gretzky from their peers. The most successful people in any field tend to invest in themselves and work hard to maximize the value of every investment that they make. In sports, that may mean investing in the latest tools to keep their bodies in great shape and the best trainers to help them hone their already sharp skills.
In real estate, that investment comes in the form of the many marketing tools that we've mentioned so far and the educational resources that you provide to your team to help them maximize their skills. The ability to adapt, adjust, and go where the puck is going doesn't come about by accident. It's a result of the investments you make in your team and the investments that each team member makes in developing their own real estate skills.
This time around, instead of offering some advice or action items related to running a real estate business (I'm hardly an expert in that regard, anyway), I wanted to explore some of what goes into developing new functionality in the DeltaNET®. Specifically, we run into hurdles when designing the functionality before any technical ones even come into play.
We love to build out new functionality based on customer feedback and requests. After all, our customers are the ones actually using the platform and working in the industry it's meant to support, so they are the ones most likely to see its shortcomings or where the opportunities for growth lie. However, some challenges to this software development approach weren't immediately obvious to me as my role at Delta Media Group® changed from one related to support and training to one that is more deeply ingrained in the direction of the DeltaNET itself. Simply put, "you don't know what you don't know."
My time in technical support has made me deeply familiar with the concept overall. If you really don't know anything about an issue or a process that's having a problem, you don't even know what questions to ask to troubleshoot it. It turns out that the same concept applies to designing new functionality. For example, if I wanted to design software that simulates the flight path of paper airplanes, but I knew nothing about paper airplane flight mechanics, I wouldn't know what the software should take into account when creating the simulation. This is where the research begins.
If there is some existing software out there that does something similar to what I'm trying to do, I can start my research there. Not to make my own version of what they're doing (because what would be the point?) but to gain some insight into the context of the problem I want my software to solve. This isn't always an option, though. Sometimes, you are designing something completely novel, so there's nothing in existence with which you can compare. In that case, you move straight to the next step, and you consult an expert.
Software developers are experts in developing software, not necessarily the industry where that software is meant to be used. Therefore, they need to rely on the expertise of people that work in that field to know what to build and how to build it. It sounds straightforward enough, but in practice, that's where some interesting issues come up. It turns out that, in addition to not knowing what you don't know, when you're an expert on some subject matter, you often don't know what you do know either.
To stick with our paper airplane example (because who doesn't love a good paper airplane?), if you're out there designing and flying paper airplanes every day, much of what you do to make one fly well has become automatic to you. Suppose someone came to you and asked, what are the most important elements to consider when designing a new model? In that case, you might be able to point out the shape of the wing and the weight distribution from the folds in the paper immediately, but you've been folding in the tip of the airplane on every model for so long that it's become second nature. You then leave out that detail because it's just so obvious to you that it doesn't come to mind. This leads to version 1 of the software leaving it out, too, so nothing flies quite right. This is why it's so important to think through every element of a feature in as much detail as possible when designing something new.
Try as you might, but you'll never think of everything the first time around. That's why it's important to create things with as much flexibility as possible. And even if you do manage to think of everything the first time around when designing new functionality, times change. Maybe a few years down the road, a new kind of paper will hit the market that turns the whole paper airplane-making convention right on its head (it's a bit of a stretch, but you get the idea). We need to be able to account for those kinds of changes.
Even though many of our features and revisions come from customer feedback, unfortunately, not everything can make the cut. Keep in mind that something that sounds like a good idea on paper might either not work or not be particularly useful in practice. More commonly, ideas will come in that just lack insight into the bigger picture. It's a great idea by itself, but when it comes to implementing it into the larger platform, it either doesn't make sense or just doesn't make sense exactly as presented. In an ideal world, everyone would get exactly what they want, but when it comes down to it, leaving out some things will result in a more reliable and well-rounded system overall, to the benefit of everyone using it.
We have to make this tradeoff to have the best overall platform. So just remember, if you're one of those customers sending us your feedback and good ideas, even if we don't implement your idea, that doesn't mean there isn't value in it. Elements of your idea influence the platform and how we think about what we add to it. Also, consider it an idea that might not be a good fit today but could still become one in the future. We may never find perfection, but we'll never stop striving for it, either. And every idea, suggestion, or bit of feedback gets us closer. So, keep them coming.
We all admire forward thinkers: people who envision what others are incapable of seeing.
When I think of forward thinkers, I think of people like Steve Jobs, Albert Einstein, Henry Ford, and Elon Musk, just to name a few. I still remember back in 1997 when Steve Jobs put an end to the Newton. I loved the Newton but didn't like how it had to be docked to a computer to synchronize all the data. Later on, when Steve Jobs opened up about why he put an end to the Newton, which was very popular at the time, he said that it was because he envisioned a device that could be connected wirelessly and synchronize wirelessly in real-time. And, since the Newton couldn't do this, it didn't make sense to him. That sounds funny today, but in 1997 it was crazy thinking, and Steve Jobs got blasted for getting rid of the Newton. We now know that he was envisioning something much bigger. That something ultimately turned out to be the iPod and then the iPhone. It was certainly forward thinking in 1997.
So, what does forward thinking mean to you and me?
For me, forward thinking is about all aspects of my business, including the products we develop and the market we serve. For you, I want to focus on forward thinking about our market: the general real estate market.
I recently had a conversation with someone I know that's in the real estate business, and we discussed how he believes that home ownership has dramatically changed for Baby Boomers. We also talked about how it will have big effects on the real estate market for the next 10 years because of all the conveniences available today. Think about someone in their 70s or 80s. Just five years ago, if they couldn't get around very well, they would most likely sell their home and move into some sort of assisted living facility. However, today, with the ability to have groceries delivered, see the doctor virtually, have medication delivered, meals delivered, etc., their lives are very different, and they have choices they didn't have just three or four years ago.
So much has changed in how people live, and those changes have lasting effects on the real estate industry.
I used to joke a few years ago that I'm not sure that homes will continue to need garages because of self-driving technology. Someday, I'm not sure exactly when, but someday when self-driving technology gets mature enough, many people will choose to no longer own vehicles because there will be ride-share services with self-driving cars. So, when this day comes, does it mean that the average suburban home no longer has a three-car garage and only has a one-car garage for the "classic" non-self-driving weekend vehicle? Will the homes have more living space?
Who would have considered that people would become interested in homes with two offices two years ago? Yet today, it's quite common for people to want a home with one formal office and another room (usually an unused bedroom) that acts as the second home office. This is because two people now work remotely instead of from office buildings.
I could continue giving examples, but what you and I need to do is look at all the changes going on around us and think about how these changes can affect the real estate market. Even though you may not be able to predict the future, just thinking about it on a regular basis makes you more prepared for the changes when they come.
To close out my thoughts, I challenge you to envision home ownership in the year 2030. What features does the home have? What services do the homeowners want? At what age are people buying and selling homes? Envision all aspects of home ownership in 2030, then envision what kind of business you need to have to serve the real estate market and how this may change the scope of your business.
One thing is certain: things are changing.
Technology is becoming the key that separates the most successful real estate agencies and brokerages from all the rest. You do not need to be part of a huge team to take advantage of the latest artificial intelligence (AI) or machine learning, however: It is within your reach right now.
Real estate agents have always faced this critical issue: When someone wants to buy, it isn't always easy for them to tell the difference between one agent and another. With the right technology, applied in the right ways, you can meet their needs proactively — that's the ultimate differentiator.
Making the Most of Today's Technologies Starts with Knowing Yourself
One of the most quoted aphorisms in history begins, "Know your enemy and know yourself."
It may seem counterintuitive that in a world overflowing with tools that aim to uncover more about your customers, you must focus on knowing yourself. But this is the step agents should take if they want to build a thriving practice that offers them the best work-life balance possible.
If you do not strive to know yourself, even the best real estate marketing software will not unlock your full potential. But when you begin by understanding exactly what kind of business you plan to build, technology becomes the facilitator you need.
That begins with two key questions:
In their first year, agents may spend all of their time chasing down leads in an effort to understand these two questions. They are learning the ropes, trying out various transactions and client types. Once you're ready to identify your core customers, then technology can equip you to exceed their expectations.
What Are the Most Important Technologies in Real Estate Today?
Thanks to the forward-looking innovation of top real estate thinkers from decades ago, our industry has access to vast quantities of data. Before anyone else realized just how important that was, the MLS was making virtually all U.S. properties and real estate transactions available at a glance.
Much can still be done to improve on and optimize listings — features like virtual tours, to give just one example. But improvements in individual listings are truly only the beginning. You must embrace a technology-driven shift in how you conceptualize your workflow and business.
Three emerging pieces of technology are transforming real estate as you read this:
Let's take a closer look at them and what they mean.
Adopting an All-in-One Real Estate Center of Excellence for Your Practice
Not that long ago, even basic artificial intelligence was the stuff of science fiction. It was worked on in the most exclusive universities and think tanks, and no products took full advantage of it. Today, your ability to use AI is limited only by your ability to envision a better future for your business.
At Delta Media Group, our all-in-one real estate solution puts the most powerful artificial intelligence available in the industry directly into your hands. Our customers are already using it to save time and money, zero in on opportunities with their leads, and help properties close faster and at better prices.
The centerpiece of our strategy is in real estate marketing automation.
Marketing is crucial to defining and growing your business, but it often falls down the priority list. Our seamless, AI-driven approach ensures machine learning integration in every aspect of digital marketing.
From email marketing to social media and everything in between, Delta Media Group customers can deliver highly valuable content targeted to the precise needs of their leads and customers. Once you're set up, you'll often spend only minutes a week ensuring helpful, informative contact that gives a "high touch" experience to your network — without the hours of effort on your part that high touch implies.
Contact us today to find out more or get started.
The real estate industry has evolved at an even faster pace than usual in recent years, with new technologies emerging that change the ways that both agents and clients conduct business. The online component of real estate transactions is more important than ever, and in some ways, we're already getting a taste of what the real estate industry of tomorrow will look like, from automated, AI-driven marketing to innovative new ways to experience properties online.
While surprises are inevitable in real estate, we already have some ideas about the ways that the real estate landscape of tomorrow will impact agents. Here are some of the tools in DeltaNET®6 that will help you navigate that landscape with confidence and plan for a successful future in real estate.
How Virtual Reality Will Help Buyers and Sellers
Over the last few years, we've already seen the rise in technology that helps buyers experience homes in great detail without ever visiting in person. Virtual Open Houses and Showings help buyers tour homes from afar, often with an experienced real estate agent as their guide. Tools like our Properties in Motion make it easier for buyers to fully experience properties online in ways that listing photos and descriptions can't match.
Given the popularity of these tools, you can expect the virtual aspect of touring homes to grow even more robust in the years to come. Buyers love it because they can tour homes no matter where they're located and get a meaningful impression of what the properties are like. Sellers love these tools because they increase the potential buyer pool, create more competition among buyers, and ultimately help them sell their homes for the best possible price.
AI-Driven Marketing Makes Life Easier for Agents
Technology isn't just making life better for clients. It's also making it easier for agents to market your services, build trust, and keep your audience informed on the topics that matter most to them. Already, we offer AI-driven email and print newsletters that make it easier to keep your audience up to date on the real estate data they crave. Our auto-generated My HomeFinder, Market Watch, and Seller Reports allow you to inform and engage every segment of your audience. With automated, AI-driven marketing, you'll be free to invest more of your own time in serving current clients, while still keeping your pipeline stocked full of leads.
Simplifying Lead Segmentation and Nurturing
Getting your foot in the door with a potential client is a great start, but generating leads is just one step in the process. Most leads will take some time to convert, which is why tools like smart drip email campaigns are so valuable for agents. These campaigns make it easier to nurture leads over time, with automated, targeted, timely content that appeals to their specific real estate needs. Automated lead segmentation, another tool that you'll find in DeltaNET 6, is also key to this process. Automatically segmenting leads makes it easier to know exactly where each leads stands, and which leads to prioritize. Interactive lead visibility adds another layer of real-time data that can help you convert leads into clients.
Integrated Technology Puts More Tools at Your Fingertips
New technology is constantly emerging in real estate, so being nimble is essential. It's much easier to keep up with the latest tools and put them to work when you can access everything in one place. DeltaNET®6 features integrations with dozens of partners that make it easy to do everything from market your real estate brand on YouTube to set up secure document signings for client who are ready to close on a home.
Making the Most of Your Technology with Learning and Support
Even for tech-savvy agents, keeping up with all of the latest trends, tools, and technology can be a challenging task. Having access to the right training – whether for yourself or your team – is a critical step in adapting to the future real estate landscape. DeltaNET Academy allows you to plan courses, highlight specific tools, provide supplemental training to your team, and track results, all at no extra cost to you.
Be Prepared for Tomorrow with Technology That Adapts to the Times
Preparing for the future starts with choosing the right technology in the present, and with an all-in-one real estate solution like DeltaNET®6, you'll find the perfect platform to help you keep up with the times. So much of what we've mentioned in this article is already possible with the reliable tools in DeltaNET®6, and we're always adding new features to help you adapt to the changing real estate landscape. Why wait for tomorrow, when both you and your clients can benefit from the best real estate tech today?
As a real estate agent, one of the most important services you provide to any client is pricing the home to sell. A home is priced "to sell" when it meets both the seller's needs and those of the actual buyers who may put in a bid. Without that, a home could easily languish on the market.
You know that when a home lingers on the market, it's not a good sign. Traditionally, real estate agents have tried to close on a home within 30 days. With every passing day beyond that mark, more potential buyers are likely to wonder if something is wrong with the property.
Conventionally, a property that takes 90 days to sell ends up getting relisted.
Over the last two years, some homes have sold in as little as 24 hours. But the market is changing, and it is more crucial than ever to be attentive to the right price. The Comparative Market Analysis — or CMA — is the key to ensuring sellers don't accidentally price themselves out of the market.
With a CMA, you estimate a home's value based on recently sold similar homes in the area.
Some of the key dimensions of comparison include:
No two homes are "identical," but the closer you can get, the better. With the right software tools, you can even cut down the time it takes to generate market-level insights in your area. That can be decisive when you need to act quickly to win a customer's confidence.
A traditional CMA is a hallmark of a well-informed real estate agent. The problem: It takes time and effort, and it could be out of date by the time the seller is ready to act. Plus, sellers may or may not understand all the information in the CMA. How can you make it really work for you?
Delta Media Group has the solution.
Delta Pitch Brings the Comparative Market Analysis to the Next Level
Through our experience working with thousands of users of the DeltaNET®6 all-in-one real estate solution, we've learned about the drawbacks of the CMA — and developed ways for you and your customers to get even more value from it at the click of a button. The results are here in Delta Pitch.
Delta Pitch integrates completely within our AI-driven real estate CRM, creating a center of excellence you can use to generate precise, accurate, beautifully designed CMAs for any property in the United States. Delta Pitch means real business impact from every CMA you create.
With Delta Pitch, you can:
Delta Pitch isn't just a tool for making the best CMAs in the industry — it's a complete proposal generator that strengthens your brand's reputation for excellence. And just like the rest of our growing technology suite for real estate agents, it only takes a few minutes to learn to use it. In a single year, you could save hundreds of hours on CMA research.
Contact us at Delta Media Group to learn more about real estate marketing automation.
As a real estate agent, one of the most important assets you provide is your expertise in pricing. A home must be "priced to sell" to meet the needs of both your client and the market. Left to their own devices, many people will overestimate the value of their own home and hinder their sales efforts.
Because of the emotional attachment that develops between a homeowner and property, it's crucial to demonstrate your advice is built on a sound foundation. Otherwise, you might encounter resistance and have difficulty coming to terms on pricing. That can cause trouble for you and your customer.
Until recently, most real estate agents and brokers handled this issue manually.
When a property goes up for sale, they would diligently do the necessary research. Gathering "comps" from the local area, they would look at location, size, and amenities to triangulate a solid price. In any discussion about price strategy, they could show the calculations that went into their work.
As valuable as that is, it takes precious time — time that's at a premium in fast-moving markets.
More and more agents in today's most desirable metro markets have run into the problem that by the time they complete their analysis, conditions have already changed. And explaining their rationale to a customer can still be counter-intuitive, creating the potential for confusion and lost confidence.
For these reasons and more, you should be using AVM.
AVM Takes the Guesswork Out of Pricing to Sell
An AVM — short for automated valuation model — does the hard work for you. You'll get accurate results fast, equipping your customers to take action. But how does it work, and how can you start leveraging it for your real estate practice?
AVM takes advantage of the latest artificial intelligence and machine learning combined with a key fact about real estate: Every transaction is public record. By analyzing recent local sales using a sophisticated mathematical model, it can generate an asking price aligned to market behavior.
A good AVM increases confidence while cutting manual work out of the equation:
Property transaction records are the "training data" for most AVMs. Some integrate data directly from the MLS system. Others synthesize estimates from a variety of trusted third-party data sources. In any case, the proof of an AVM's value is in how consistently it delivers estimates close to a final sales price.
Your Customers Already Trust AVM Without Knowing It
Homeowners love to scope things out and get a sense of what their home might sell for. No longer do they have to trawl through local open houses to get insight on what neighbors are buying and selling — instead, they go online and look for an automatically generated estimate.
While there are many popular websites using an AVM, all but the largest brokers have traditionally been cut out of the game. This deprives many independent brands of the opportunity to leverage AVM as the practical tool and rapport-building mechanism it already naturally is.
When you offer AVM, you have the opportunity to seamlessly follow your leads and customers from interest to action. And you no longer need to pay hefty licensing fees to do it. If you are a DeltaNET®6 customer, AVM is already a part of the trusted center of excellence that is your all-in-one real estate solution.
Accurate AVM Estimates Now Available in One Click
Imagine having an accurate, branded AVM report in just seconds — one that provides amazing context such as the average price of sold listings, average size of sold listings, and total number of sold listings a given zip code had over a period of twelve quarters or more.
Delta Media Group's previous AVM has been deployed on thousands of customer websites. Now, it evolves even further to provide even more accurate and granular information. This self-learning valuation tool will only get better and better as it crunches more data.
Some of the top highlights include:
It's time to take your business to the next level with AI.
Contact us to learn more or get started with DeltaNET AVM.
Pay-per-click (PPC) online advertising may seem like one of the most challenging topics around.
But of all the industries that use PPC, real estate agents are among those most likely to gain a true windfall of business value. That's because PPC ads that may cost only a few dollars a week greatly accelerate the process of attracting qualified buyers to properties.
We know: From the outside, PPC seems complicated, technical, and risky.
The truth is, profiting from PPC ads has gotten more and more difficult over the past few years. When more advertisers join a platform, the prices go up. At the same time, each major digital platform is at work on new ways to protect its investment, making the standards for every ad higher.
But there is a simple, powerful way around all that complication.
First, understand the value proposition:
Pay-per-click ads can help you sell houses faster for just a few cents a day.
Once you see the potential, the rest of the details slide into place much more easily. Simply, PPC is a far easier prospect when you have the potential to make $5,000 or more on a transaction. There's room for trial and error compared to companies that may be trying to make sales for only a few dollars each.
So, how can you get the knowledge you need to get started with PPC?
Pay Per Click Is Simpler Than You May Think
In truth, there are only a few factors you need to be aware of in PPC.
This handful of factors will produce 90% of your results:
On Facebook, the photo associated with your ad is its most powerful asset. That's the core reason why Facebook – and its even more visual counterpart, Instagram – are at the center of the conversation for real estate professionals who want to get real digital advertising ROI.
Your ad may lead to a landing page on Facebook or on your website. For example, this approach may be best to collect sign-ups for an open house. Or it may lead directly to your listing, which should be ported from your MLS directly onto your website. If your listing is fully optimized, this can be a good bet.
Whatever the case may be, your visuals are a major determining factor as to whether and when people will click. You should be just as careful in selecting them for quality, composition, and vividness as you would be when you assign pictures to the listing or any other marketing element.
Targeting is the other key factor in ensuring that the right people click on your ads at the right time.
Even with the rise of virtual tours, most buyers aren't looking for a home 1,000 miles away. To maximize your chance of selling, your ads must be micro-targeted to prospective buyers. This is another element where Facebook and Instagram shine since their ad targeting is so precise.
Using zip codes and other means, you can micro-target your ads within miles or even just a few streets of a given property's address. You can target neighborhoods, cities, states, or even adjoining states. And each person who clicks can be delivered a customized experience based on their specific needs.
Headline and Other Text
All online ads have some degree of text.
With a Google Ad, success depends entirely on your text and headline. As a result, you'll want to use automated tools to compare different versions of your text and consistently display the versions that are more effective. Over time, this refinement strengthens your results.
Facebook, Instagram, and other social media networks use text as well, of which the headline is the most important. Your headline must be short and compelling. It makes a promise that your listing or landing page must immediately deliver on so you don't lose a user's attention.
Digital Marketing Automation Is the Key to Unlocking Value from PPC Ads
Now that you see where PPC results come from, hopefully it all looks a little bit less mysterious.
Where people in any industry get tripped up is in the need to monitor these factors constantly.
While it takes a few days for any new advertising campaign to capture useful information, all of the best campaigns are monitored on a daily basis. Daily monitoring ensures all outliers — including mistakes and home runs – are caught as soon as possible.
With a real estate CRM, you have the chance to leverage an AI-driven center of excellence for your pay-per-click advertising. Ad Wizard is just the solution. It handles all the detail work so you can keep an eye on your campaigns, fine-tune them, and improve your results in just seconds every day.
Contact us today to learn more or begin.
Zillow has endured some notable failures recently, including shutting down its Zillow Offers iBuying program after consistently taking losses when flipping the homes that it purchased. But does that mean that the threat of Zillow is over for real estate agents? Not quite. While Zillow is no longer in the business of purchasing homes, it's still a popular, well-known platform that many people turn to for real estate information.
The good news is that, while Zillow is still a threat, there's plenty that you can do to stay out in front and provide a level of service that big platforms can't match. Zillow's clout comes from its name recognition and size, but agents and smaller real estate firms have the advantage of being nimble. With the right tools to boost your marketing and provide personalized service, you can stay ahead of big-name brands like Zillow.
Your real estate CRM, like DeltaNET®6, is one of your most powerful, reliable tools for overcoming the threat posed by companies like Zillow. Here are some of the many ways that your CRM can help you stand out from the crowd.
Provide Personalized Service by Knowing Your Leads and Clients
Whether you're gathering data on new leads or keeping track of the needs of your clients, your CRM allows you to keep all of the information that you need to provide great service in one place. With all of your key data in one place, you're always ready to provide personalized service and connect with clients in meaningful ways. It's not just about remembering names and contact information. The data that you compile lets you know what your clients want, where they stand, and how you can help them move forward with their real estate goals.
Take Advantage of AI and Automation to Boost Your Marketing
As an individual agent or small real estate firm, simply finding the time to stay ahead of brands like Zillow can feel like a tall task. DeltaNET 6 offers many time-saving benefits to help you stay ahead, from auto-generated, AI-driven newsletters to smart drip email campaigns that can help you reach out to large segments of your audience with content that converts. All of this can be done with little effort on your end, leaving more time for you to provide the level of service that keeps clients coming back again and again.
Segment Leads to Send the Right Message at the Right Time
Automated lead segmentation is another tool that both saves time and leads to better results with your marketing. One of the biggest challenges with marketing is making sure that the right message reaches the right person at the right time. Every lead is at their own place in their real estate journey, and knowing where they stand can help you reach them with the content that they want to see. Segmenting leads also makes it easier to know which leads to prioritize so that you can invest your effort where it will make the biggest difference.
Track Data to Improve Results
We've already touched on how being nimble is an advantage compared to big companies like Zillow, and part of being nimble is a willingness to find out what's working, as well as what could be improved. With analytics and tracked email marketing, your CRM can provide you with the data that you need to make informed decisions about your business. You don't have to guess what's working and what's not. You can easily learn more about your strengths and discover insights that help improve upon your weaknesses.
Integrations Put Countless Tools at Your Fingertips
The tools within DeltaNET®6 extend far beyond the basics, including integrations with dozens of popular platforms that can help you market your business, promote your listings, build deeper connections with your clients, and make your life easier in the process. Why scour the internet to find every tool that you need when you can have it all available in one place? Just one more way that your CRM can help you stay ahead of Zillow.
Zillow May Be a Threat, but You Have the Tools to Overcome It
Even with some very public failures, the threat of big-name online real estate platforms like Zillow is unlikely to disappear completely anytime soon. That's why it's so important to take advantage of the tools that you have available, like DeltaNET®6, to attract new leads and provide the best possible level of service to your clients. There's no one magic fix to overcome big brands like Zillow. Instead, it's the sum of all of the small things that your real estate tech provides, along with the ability to innovate and adapt at a much faster pace than the big, corporate brands.
Real estate technology is moving faster than ever, and some agents are beginning to wonder if they'll be left behind. Big industry players have made moves to automate real estate in disruptive ways — but, in the long run, they've only succeeded in "disrupting" their own business.
It is becoming more obvious that the average buyer or seller doesn't want a fully AI-driven process, nor do they want to do it all themselves, no matter how convenient the tools become. What they want is personalized advice from a local expert.
Rather than replacing agents, the best technology enhances what they can do.
More Accessible Technology Means Better Results for Organizations of All Sizes
It was not that long ago when the best technology was available only to the largest brokerages. With the introduction of Customer Relationship Management tools like the DeltaNET®6, that's no longer the case. From large enterprises to independent agents, everyone can benefit.
Likewise, CRM technology was once limited mainly to B2B sales teams. With a CRM solution built by and for real estate professionals, it becomes possible for any member of a team to be more productive than ever before — while doing less work and making fewer errors along the way.
Not even the most advanced technology available can do what real estate agents do: Guide customers to informed, confident decisions about buying and selling. But what technology can do is accelerate and automate rote tasks and routines, especially those related to marketing and advertising.
You know marketing consistently is an essential part of your business success. But how often have you set out to do it only to have other priorities take center stage? It's a common problem for people at all stages of their careers, and precisely the one technology is best suited to overcome.
Technology Supports Your Efforts to Deliver the Human Touch Every Time
To work with you, someone has to know you, like you, and trust you. One unique aspect of real estate is that you often must build that rapport before the person steps into your office for the first time. For that to work, technology needs to be there to fill in the gaps.
From your real estate website to social media and email marketing, an all-in-one technology center of excellence like DeltaNET®6 ensures that you are always communicating with your audience in a humane, consistent way — no matter if you're talking directly to one person, one hundred, or one thousand.
For email, it does this through a combination of templating and personalization. You set up campaigns once, for just a few minutes at a time, then the system fills in the blanks based on individual behavior. Every mailing list subscriber gets a tailored experience based on their interests.
For social media, an event-driven approach is best. For example, you can have automatic updates made whenever details on your active listings change. You can also instantly publicize new listings, focusing a fast-moving audience's attention on virtual tours and other features that matter to them.
Yes, you could do it all yourself, painstakingly writing social media updates and emails by hand. In the end, though, this wouldn't make the quality of your communication better. Instead, it would just mean spending more time on it, to the detriment of all the other things that move your business forward.
The Future Is Now for Real Estate — and Marketing Automation Is Ready to Help You
As real estate agents, we know technology isn't the answer to every problem. Despite rosy predictions about the future of machine learning, we are probably 200 years away from fully autonomous robots doing the work of today's agents.
In fact, an Oxford study ranks "real estate sales agents" near the middle of the pack for their long-term computerization risk — suggesting it will take a long time and a lot of technological development before agents and brokers need to be concerned.
In the meantime, technology is not an enemy, but an ally. You can use it to build the practice you want by giving yourself the leeway to spend your time and energy wisely. It's no longer a choice between so many long hours of marketing or nothing at all. In this sense, at least, you really can have it all.
That's an essential piece of the puzzle for agents and brokers who want to optimize their business for work-life balance. Within just a few weeks of implementing real estate CRM technology, you can save dozens of hours. Those can be used to push your business further or get the rest you need and deserve.
Delta Media Group is here to help you bring the promises of technology down to earth in your career. Contact us to learn more or begin.
Nearly 40 years ago, a school principal took a leap of faith and started a small real estate firm in Mansfield, Ohio.
They say it's never too late in life to switch gears and try something new. While many people talk about changing their careers, very few actually do it once they get comfortable. Arnold Haring, an Ohio elementary school principal, started selling real estate as a side business in the late 70s. A decade later, in 1983, Haring Realty was born. Now, nearly 40 years after the firm's conception, Haring Realty is led by Arnold's son, Peter, and is still operating in Ohio. Arnold's courage to make the change led to success for both himself and his family.
"My dad started the business. He was an elementary school principal, and he decided he wanted to earn a little extra income," says Peter. "And before he knew it, it took on a life of its own, and he decided to throw out a shingle and get started."
Over the past 40 years, Haring Realty has grown substantially. The company now has three office locations along with a welcome center in Mansfield on North Main Street. Haring Realty provides home buying, home selling and relocation services for their clients. They offer well-developed, strategic programs to bring buyers and sellers to the top of the market. They also do commercial real estate.
"Where Caring is Key"
The staff at Haring Realty feels that caring for one another and their customers is of utmost importance. That's why their motto is "where caring is key."
"Caring is kind of in our DNA," says Peter. "My dad had that kind of mindset of caring for the customer. And so, we try to hire people that have a servant's heart or a servant's mindset."
Everyone at Haring is considered part of a family, and they believe that "a good family is on the same page." That means being a team player, which comes with certain characteristics.
"I read a book a while back called the Ideal Team Player by Patrick Lencioni, and in it, he suggests that the ideal team player has three characteristics," says Peter. "Team players are hungry, humble and people smart. So, if we want to have a cohesive family, we all need to be team players."
Hunger is the willingness to go after business, and humility is the willingness to learn and listen to what the customer wants. At Haring, they consider humility "key," therefore, it is what they look for most when recruiting new agents. People smart refer to interpersonal skills and a person's core values. Haring Realty has a specific set of core values they practice and instill in their agents. These values are respect, thankfulness, reputation, community, productivity and excellence.
"While Haring Realty is not a Christian business, my faith in Jesus Christ has greatly influenced me and my organization's core values," says Peter. "So, one of our first core values is respect. And that's because everybody is made in God's image. And so, we hold our customers in high regard, and we hold our coworkers in high regard, so they're important people."
At Haring Realty, they foster these values at their weekly sales meetings. They also build on this culture they are creating by hosting "lunch and learn" sessions, where they will come together to develop proficiency with their technology platforms, like DeltaNET®, or work on their selling skills.
When speaking about the lunch and learns, Peter says, "We'll bring in some pizza, and we will not just have a training presentation, but we will actually workshop, work on some of our technology tools, practice the use of those technology tools and learn from each other."
The Power of Marketing
According to Peter, entrepreneurship seemed to run in the Haring family. His grandfather was in the meat business; he was the owner of Haring Meats. As a business owner, he always stressed the importance of marketing and advertising. Because of this, when Arnold started Haring Realty, a marketing manager was one of the first positions he hired. This focus on marketing was key to the initial growth of the company and one of the reasons the company is so successful today.
"One of the things my grandfather always preached was, you want to make your sign as big as possible." Peter continues, "And he always preached to my dad and his siblings when laying out the meat in the meat cooler that it's all about merchandising and setting that up to look really attractive when a customer walks in the door."
Due to his grandfather's advice, having stunning photography and video to appeal to clients was a big part of Haring Realty's marketing strategy from the very beginning.
"We decided a picture's worth a thousand words, so we always did color photography. And we were the first company in our market to think we had to have good photography."
That being said, Peter mentions that his mother was their first-ever photographer. He recalls a time before everything went digital, and photos still had to be developed.
"She was our first photographer, and I remember her making trips to Walmart every day to develop stacks of photographs," says Peter. "Since that time, we've had professional photographers take our photos."
Peter believes that one of the key components of good marketing is rolling with the punches. Whenever there is a shift in technology or a shift in the industry, Haring shifts with it. For example, they were one of the first real estate companies ever to have a website in the late 90s. None of their competitors had them, which gave them a huge advantage in the market. They were also one of the first companies to have a magazine to advertise their listings. These were distributed through the mail and in local stores. Aside from making their own, they advertised in other real estate publications such as Harmon Homes.
"As the market changes, our culture is changing, and the profile of our buyer is changing. We also have to change, and we have to be relevant," says Peter. "So, we've always tried to identify, okay, are there any new tools or approaches that more effectively reach today's customers? Where are the opportunities."
Tapping Into Tech
As mentioned before, Haring Realty tends to move with the times and quickly adapt to the new way of doing things. This is also true when it comes to technology. They have found that with Delta Media Group® they are always up-to-date with the latest technology, which has been a great benefit to their real estate business.
"We tend to be an early adopter of new technologies and different marketing techniques." Peter continues, "For years, we included floor plans with all of our listings. We were the first agency in the Mansfield market to start using Matterport 3D virtual tour technology. Today, we include Matterport with most of our listings, and because it is increasingly imperative that we effectively interact with our clients digitally, our relationship with Delta Media has become more critical."
There are certain features in DeltaNET they've found particularly useful in retaining and seeking out new clients.
"Something that we were able to quickly adopt for everybody in our organization was the My Customer for Life Program," says Peter. "And through that, we're not just sending our past clients or sphere of influence a newsletter, but we're sending them relevant content that's of interest to them individually."
Even with all the issues and changes they face in the uncertain world of real estate, Haring Realty always makes an effort to stay positive. For them, it's not just about looking on the bright side but being a calming force for their clients.
"As we think about serving our clients, it's about being the calm in the midst of the storm," says Peter. "There's a lot of provocative news out there regarding the real estate market, sensational news. And if we can remind our customers of the long view, we essentially can be the people walking on water in the midst of the storm."
When thinking about this, Peter recalls a situation he once found himself in on a flight returning from Hawaii, a situation in which he could have certainly benefited from some positive thinking.
"I remember I was on a flight from Hawaii one time. I'd never had this kind of turbulence before. There's got to be six people throwing up around me, and this lady I haven't spoken a word to, she's gripping onto my wrist like we're going to die," says Peter. "I'm looking up at the flight attendants, thinking, 'Okay, is this normal?' They were nervous, and you could tell they were freaked out. And so, all of a sudden, consequently, I'm more freaked out. So, it always reminds me, as we're serving our customers, to make this a positive experience for them. We have to be the calming influence in that transaction."
The Future of Haring Realty
As they approach their 40th year, Haring Realty looks to continue its growth and success. The first way they plan to accomplish this is by using their technology tools, primarily through Delta, to generate growth and professional development for their support staff and sales team.
"We want to be more effective at using DeltaNET and some of the technology tools we already have to serve both our sales team and our clients more effectively through better communication from contract to closing," says Peter.
They are also implementing several new marketing initiatives, one of which is promoting their properties' communities.
"Each property we're selling is in the context of its community," says Peter. "We have a big emphasis this year on promoting and providing better community information for each of our listings and telling the story of each of our communities as buyers look to where in particular to locate."
Improving their multimedia content for listings is another priority for them. After all, top-notch photography, copywriting and video are all essential to good advertising. Along the lines of enhancing its brand, Haring Realty also plans to upgrade its facilities this year as they continue to meet with more customers in person.
Arnold Haring's leap of faith started this wonderful company back in 1983, and the core values that came with it remain at the forefront of everything they do today. With their positive outlook, care for their customers and unmatched marketing and technology, there is no limit to how high Haring Realty can fly.
They say that family is the heart of the home. And for MJ Peterson Real Estate, a family business serving the Western New York region for over 91 years, that certainly rings true.
In the early 1930s, following the Great Depression, Marvin Peterson and his family moved from Detroit to Buffalo and started building houses. What began as a simple home-building venture ultimately became one of the most successful real estate companies in Western New York. With Victor (Pete) Peterson III being the current owner, four generations later, the Peterson family still owns and operates the business they started many years ago.
For over 91 years, MJ Peterson Real Estate has been serving the Western New York region. The company saw a huge expansion and achieved substantial growth during that time. Today, MJ Peterson has eight office locations and over 200 agents. They have over 3,300 units for rent — including apartments, condos and houses — along with residential properties, commercial properties and new construction for sale.
"With the Peterson family, we really take people all the way — from getting college kids into their first rental, to their first condo, to their first home, to their golden years home, and then downsizing," says Bret Llewellyn, General Manager at MJ Peterson.
What Makes Them Special
"At MJ Peterson, we do more than list and sell houses...we make our client's dreams come true," says Pete Peterson.
Since the company was founded, MJ Peterson has built more than 6,000 single-family homes. They developed some of Buffalo's oldest neighborhoods and have contributed to HUD-sponsored moderate and low-income housing developments. Following World War II, MJ Peterson built starter homes in Tonawanda and Amherst. They also built luxury condominiums, family and senior housing developments and commercial properties, such as office buildings and retail shopping centers.
MJ Peterson's efforts were recently recognized by community organization Buffalo Business First with a 2021 Family Business Award. The honor highlights "multi-generational and family businesses in Western New York for overall excellence, innovation, ethics, philanthropy and strength of the region."
Unlike most other real estate companies in the region, the work at MJ Peterson doesn't start and end with renting and selling properties. The organization's long list of services includes new home construction, property management, domestic and international relocation services, land development, lease option and trade-in programs, property appraisals and mortgage placement.
Partnering With the Community
MJ Peterson offers so many services because of their incredible partnerships, one of which is with Premium Mortgage. MJ Peterson strives to work alongside their clients to help them move forward. In cases where people have been renting for two or three years to save up for a home, MJ Peterson will pair them up with Premium Mortgage to assist them with credit counseling and help prepare them to buy. Once they are ready, the company will release them from their lease and automatically pair them with an agent to help them find the perfect property to buy. This partnership is not only useful and educational for clients, but agents appreciate it as well.
"I think that's a good model. It keeps our tenants engaged in the process of homeownership versus renting," says Terri Campbell, Branch Manager at MJ Peterson. "It gets them some credit counseling with our mortgage partner, and it keeps some of our agents on their toes."
For MJ Peterson's unique building division, they work with local builders. They have been partnering with Chris Tucker of Tucker Homes for over 30 years and have since added several other builders. According to Campbell, the building division has made a huge impact on the company's growth, considering "if you've got the land, you've got the listing." This is especially important in the current market, where inventory is particularly low. At the moment, they have about 250 lots in Lancaster, NY.
MJ Peterson has also established an effective partnership with Robitaille Real Estate, which was acquired in 2018 to form MJ Peterson – Robitaille Relocation LLC. That same year, Mike Robitaille, former NHL defenseman for the Buffalo Sabres, signed on as VP of Public Relations.
Thriving in the Digital Age
It's no secret that technology has changed the way we do just about everything in our lives, and selling and buying real estate is no exception. What was once accomplished through direct contact or putting an ad in the local newspaper is done almost completely digitally now. With websites, social media, email and third-party real estate apps like Zillow and Redfin, there's nothing you can't accomplish with the touch of a button.
"If you're going to survive, it's got to be in the social media aspect. It's got to be in the IT at this point," says Llewellyn.
At MJ Peterson, the staff understands the importance of adapting to the digital age, that the days of print ads and yard signs are behind us. The company recently hired its first-ever Social Media Director and has a skilled IT Director on staff, Bill Trautman. Bill is there to help the agents at MJ Peterson with all of their technological needs, whether that be with DeltaNET® or something else.
"Now that we have the internet and the wonderful opportunities that we have through programs like DeltaNET, it's a no-brainer," says Campbell. "And sometimes I think that teaching old dogs new tricks is difficult, but I will tell you that Bill Trautman in our IT department will sit one-on-one with any agent in the company and get them up to speed."
Finding the Right Agents
There is a lot to consider when it comes to finding the right agents. For instance, some recruiters look for industry experience, while others have no problem hiring someone new to the real estate game as long as they fit in with the company culture.
For MJ Peterson, it's the latter. When hiring a new agent, they consider qualities like community involvement and likeability. Whether they have experience in the business or not isn't the issue; it's whether they have the skills and the right personality for the job.
"I like recruiting people from other aspects of business in this town, and two of the very successful, rising stars in one of our offices that we were able to recruit, one is an attorney who works in the trust department at the local bank," says Campbell. "The other was a branch manager of a bank for 20 years and then was an office assistant in a legal firm. These are the people you want. These are people who get business in town. They know a lot of people, and this is a great opportunity for them."
When recruiting new agents, they also seek out those who exemplify true passion and motivation. They believe this is particularly important in an industry like real estate, where you won't necessarily have instant success, and people tend to weave in and out.
"I really like to go ahead and start out with an agent that's been in the market a year or two who is doing that $1 million, $2 million, $3 million, because taking somebody from that $2 million to $4 million or $6 million with the right tools is much easier," Llewellyn remarks. "And it's like we want to go ahead and know that they have the motivation and they have a passion for this because nine out of 10 new agents are gone after year two because they don't want to pay their dues, because they only sold two houses."
Training New Hires
Once an agent is welcomed aboard, the training process begins. At MJ Peterson, they have a comprehensive program that allows new hires to quickly and effectively get up-to-date with the industry and the company processes. MJ Peterson has a "Leap into Success" program, which is a five-week course. During this program, participants have the opportunity to listen to various speakers on different subjects.
For new agents, training also includes learning the technology and setting up their custom website, customer database and digital marketing campaigns through DeltaNET. Overall, the training process is meant to cater to each agent's individual needs. At MJ Peterson, they believe that this is the best approach, considering every agent is different and has a unique set of skills and experience.
Once an agent completes the onboarding process, the training doesn't end there. MJ Peterson offers continuing education courses throughout the year. One of their favorite events is the Breakfast of Champions, a Q&A series with the more experienced agents where they discuss topics like luxury living and how to survive tax season over coffee and pancakes.
Maintaining a Family Culture
"We remain committed to never lose[ing] sight that our business is people," states Pete Peterson.
MJ Peterson may have grown quite a bit since its early days, but that doesn't mean it doesn't strive to maintain the same family culture that the company was founded on. Pete Peterson prioritizes instilling the same values in his current staff that his family had when they first arrived in Buffalo and began building houses. One way that Peterson does this is by having an open-door policy that allows agents to stop in at any time. Whether they want him to attend their event, give his two cents or answer a question, he's always there.
"If anybody ever needs anything, Pete's always available. His door's always open. He'll address whatever your concerns are and make sure he takes care of you," says Trautman. "So that's one of the good things about coming to a family company, and that's why I'm here. I've seen both sides, family companies, and I've seen corporations where the family company is far better because you're out one-on-one with the owners, and it's a first-name basis."
Being located in a smaller city like Buffalo also helps MJ Peterson maintain that family feel. Having a more tight-knit community enables them to use a community-oriented approach and achieve a sense of trust and community among agents and staff.
Addressing the Issues
Shortage of inventory. Inflation. Interest rate hikes. These are just a few of the issues that may come up when working in real estate. That said, it's important always to stay ahead of the curve.
For MJ Peterson, that means a lot of things. First, during a time like this, when inventory is low, they can rely on their rental properties to keep things moving. They have more rentals than just about anyone in Western New York, and they are close to the University of Buffalo, meaning young adults are constantly moving to the area looking to rent. Their building division also helps prevent a shortage of inventory from becoming a problem because if you build houses, you will always have houses to sell.
When it comes to navigating issues like interest rates and inflation, it helps to ensure that clients are educated and prepared financially. Hence, they're ready to buy in any climate. That's why MJ Peterson's partnership with Premium Mortgage is so essential. These partners will come to their offices, sit down with a client and work out a path for homeownership that works for them. So, when the time comes, whenever that may be, the client has what they need to buy, and the agent can make a sale.
Another way they keep momentum is by making sure they are placing their offices in the right locations and that those communities continue to thrive. MJ Peterson recognizes the importance of seeking out clients in areas with profitable, growing businesses. For example, in Buffalo, there is an M&T Bank that is currently hiring over 2,000 new employees. This growth has paved the way for a surge of new homebuyers to settle in the area. MJ Peterson is also centrally located in Amherst, which happens to be the second-largest city in Western New York, providing them with a vast pool of potential clients and businesses.
"They're Here Because of Delta"
MJ Peterson believes that working with Delta Media Group® has had a huge impact on the success of their company. They feel that Delta is why so many agents want to work there and why they stick around.
"I've talked to so many agents that [have said] they're here because of Delta," Trautman says. "They don't have the technology anywhere else. And then once they see everything that Delta has to offer, they love it."
One of the main reasons they love Delta is its impact on recruitment. This is largely due to Delta's patent-pending SEO, which puts agents on the map.
"Google your name and then google your competitor's name and see where you land in the search results. Every time we're in the top two," says Trautman.
Another game-changer provided by Delta is how simple it is to find sales leads. At MJ Peterson, they have found that over 50% of their leads are generated through Delta. They have also noticed that Delta is particularly beneficial for new agents when finding their first leads, enabling them to hit the ground running.
The staff at MJ Peterson is also very fond of the digital marketing tools Delta offers, such as blog posts, email campaigns and electronic postcards. They've found that these resources assist them both with finding new clients and retaining current ones.
Where Are They Going?
Over the past three years since using Delta, MJ Peterson has brought in over $140 million in new agent business. And in the past three months alone, $45 million. They feel confident that with Delta, they can continue to grow even more.
"We're planting seeds out there. We're growing them. We're going ahead and watering them," says Llewellyn.
The company plans to expand to have nine or 10 offices in the near future. However, they plan to stay local. Their ultimate goal is to become the person to go to in Western New York, not to extend to places like Syracuse or New York City that have completely different markets.
Over the past 91 years, MJ Peterson has come a long way. The previously small family construction business is now one of the top real estate organizations in the region. It has so much more than just building and selling homes to offer. It's an organization that people in the community want to work for and work with. But despite seeing tremendous growth, MJ Peterson's original vision remains the same: to build strong neighborhoods based on family values.
When two real estate companies that share the same goals and values come together, there is nothing they can't do. Living proof of this is one of New England's finest real estate companies, Badger Peabody & Smith Realty.
Crystal clear lakes, majestic forests and breathtaking mountains. Luxury ski resorts and snow lodges. Biking, hiking and kayaking. All of this can be found in the beautiful region of New Hampshire that Badger Peabody & Smith Realty is lucky to call home.
Serving residents and travelers in New Hampshire, the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont and Western Maine, Badger Peabody & Smith Realty has agents and offices scattered throughout New Hampshire: in Berlin, Bretton Woods, Franconia, Holderness, Jackson, Littleton, North Conway and Plymouth. The firm offers full-service real estate services. They are dedicated to ensuring the process of buying or selling a home is as simple and painless as possible for their customers.
With properties in some of the most magnificent parts of the region, much of Badger Peabody & Smith Realty's business is with second-home buyers. Given the abundance of ski resorts in the area, many people come looking for a seasonal home during the coldest, snowiest months of the year. And for those who don't enjoy winter sports, they can still travel in the summer to visit the lakes and mountains and experience the various biking and hiking trails.
Badger Realty, originally located in North Conway, NH, was founded in 1965 by Dick Badger. It was a family business from the very beginning. A community icon, Dick Badger helped transform the town of North Conway into the ski resort and tourist destination it is today. Dick loved what he did. He practiced real estate until the month before he died in his early '90s.
Formed in 1993 by Andy Smith and Jere Peabody, Peabody & Smith Realty covered the western part of the White Mountain National Forest. Like Badger Realty, they had a big market for vacation and primary-home buyers and those looking to escape the stress of urban areas.
The two firms covering different territories of the White Mountains ultimately merged to become one. In February of 2021, the two officially came together to form Badger Peabody & Smith Realty.
Blending two organizations isn't easy, so it only makes sense to do so if the companies and their core values align. Thankfully, Peabody & Smith Realty found that they shared similar values with Badger Realty, making their merger much easier.
"We had a lot of similarities growing up and raising both our companies and our families in our respective communities," says Andy. "We always wanted to be part of the local community, and as I got to know Dick as both a competitor and a colleague over the years, we had very similar philosophies and mutual respect for each other's company."
They also each placed value on the hard work of their agents and knew that the key to success was doing whatever they needed to help their agents succeed.
"There was a high ratio of staff to agents, and a high level of support in both companies and that philosophy has continued and made the merger even easier," says Andy. "It wasn't going from one business model to another."
Jessica DiPietro, VP of Operations at Badger Peabody & Smith Realty, felt similarly that Peabody & Smith Realty aligned with Badger's values.
"I feel like it was a long time coming; it was meant to be," says Jessica. "It was a long courtship dance of going back and forth, but I think even years ago, we all knew it was going to happen. I know Dick knew it was going to happen before he passed away. The merger and transition were very easy culturally and value-wise."
Building a New Brand
When you create a new company, you need a new brand. So, despite each organization holding its own distinctive identity, merging meant it was time to start from scratch and rebuild.
When building a brand, one of the most important things to consider is who you're trying to attract. Being located close to mountains and lakes, Badger Peabody & Smith Realty knew it needed to appeal to a demographic of people who love the outdoors. So, with mountain ranges and natural-looking colors incorporated into their logo, they chose to target their ideal audience directly.
The logo design needed to be more progressive yet still look modern for years to come. So, they worked with a branding firm to create a logo not only unique to their newly established brand but one that's visually appealing as well. This image is important because it's on every sign, business card and piece of merchandise the company distributes.
Along with the visual aspects, a good brand always has a clear, well-stated message. To refine theirs and their logo, Badger Peabody & Smith Realty worked alongside branding expert Steve McKee from McKee and Wallwork in Santa Fe, NM.
Although a modern brand is what they wanted, Badger Peabody & Smith Realty aimed to keep the integrity of both brands while creating their new one by using the design elements from their previous logos. They felt it was important to acknowledge where they came from and continue each company's legacy.
"We've done high-level brand marketing and all sorts of things, including a new logo, clothing and more. Andy continues, "But I think, overall, we've wanted to maintain the integrity of both brands. That's been important."
They also wanted to have the right technology to market their new brand. That's why, when merging, Badger Peabody & Smith Realty gave their tech a refresh. They created a new website through Delta Media Group® and established a new and improved online presence through Delta's SEO and digital marketing tools. They introduced the world to their new brand using social media, eblasts in the DeltaNET® and traditional print media methods.
While it may have been a long process, Debbie Anderson, Marketing Director at Badger Peabody & Smith Realty, cherishes the opportunity the marketing team was given to reinvent the brand, start with a clean slate and build entirely from the ground up.
"We literally have reinvented ourselves," says Debbie. "It's such a dream job, from my perspective, to be able to be involved in something like that."
On Dec. 1, 2021, the firm hosted an internal rebranding event. During this, Badger Peabody & Smith Realty announced their new name and debuted their new web page and logo design for all the agents and staff. The event was held over brunch at Polly's Pancake Parlor in Sugar Hill, NH. They gave out swag bags, journals, holiday presents and branded Yeti tumblers. Although they would not introduce the new brand to the outside world until over a month later, this was an exciting day for Badger Peabody & Smith Realty as it marked the beginning of a new chapter.
Although Badger Peabody & Smith Realty's merger was ultimately a success, that doesn't mean it came without challenges — some of which they were prepared for and others they weren't.
First off, getting the agents up to date and answering their many questions wasn't easy, but the staff from both teams came together and made it work as effectively as possible. One thing that made the transition easier was the agents in both companies were already accustomed to using DeltaNET. Plus, the staff could do most of the reworking in the back end, making things far less complicated for them.
"We ran parallel, and we did it behind the scenes," says Jessica. "Most of the time, our agents didn't even know anything was going on or was different, so they were not interfered with on a day-to-day basis. Our goal was to do everything and try to get those pieces aligned and connected as much as possible and get everything flowing before we made any tweaks or changes that would interfere with their lives."
While the plan to merge had been in motion for years before making it official, most things did not go as planned due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The team had to meet virtually instead of in the offices and rely solely on technology.
When speaking about the impact that COVID-19 had on the merger, Jessica says, "I think it prolonged a little bit of the personal connection, not so much with the management team because we kind of still saw each other, but with the agents. It's hard to connect on Zoom."
For Andy and the rest of the team at Peabody & Smith Realty, going remote wasn't much of an issue considering they were 100% paperless and used technology for most of their work already.
"We put all that technology into place so when we couldn't come into the offices and we had to do closings in the parking lot, we were able to continue along pretty well from a functionality standpoint," says Andy.
But for the staff at Badger Realty, it was a bit more difficult. They hadn't quite reached their technological goals prior to going remote, thus finding it more challenging to navigate at first. However, instead of letting it set them back, they used it as an opportunity to lean into the technology and virtual resources they had available to them and get on the same page as Peabody & Smith. In the end, they were happy they did so.
The pandemic also deeply impacted the economy as people were told to stay home and stay put. When the first shutdowns occurred, big cities like Boston and New York took the biggest hit. Luckily, Badger Peabody & Smith Realty saw the perfect marketing opportunity as most of their properties reside in more off-the-grid areas, ideal for social distancing. As people all over the country were fleeing big towns and cities, they were there providing a safe destination filled with peace and quiet.
"We're a second-home resort area for Boston and the Northeast feeder market in the White Mountain National Forest, both to buy for summer and year-round recreation," says Andy. "So, during COVID, we were the safe place to rent and buy, and our sales volume went up tremendously."
Onboarding New Agents
During the merger, both firms maintained their current staff, and with the opportunity to expand, there was room to hire new agents. For Badger Peabody & Smith Realty, while they wish to grow in some regard, it's not about bringing on as many agents as possible but rather finding the right ones. This is something else both companies have always aligned with.
"Both firms always looked for career-orientated agents. It was neither one of our goals just to have the biggest amount of agent licenses hanging on the wall," says Andy. "We had a commitment to a very high level, well-qualified client service. We always have and will continue to believe this is a career that requires good, educated full-time agents giving the very best level of service."
Instead of looking at numbers like years of experience, Badger Peabody & Smith Realty prioritizes finding a certain personality. They feel that the skills can be taught as long as an agent has the right mindset for the job.
"We are looking to grow, but that's not our first driver. The first driver is to find the right match with our existing agents," says Andy. "We try to hire on the personality and the skillsets they bring, not necessarily real estate experience."
Badger Peabody & Smith Realty's extensive onboarding program lasts about 60 days. They use the Leading Real Estate Companies of the World (LeadingRE®) training platform, and they provide a mix of internal, staff and management training. For agents stepping into the industry for the first time, they offer a valuable mentoring program in which a new agent gets paired with a more experienced agent to learn the ropes.
When speaking about the training program, Andy says, "It's a combination of everything depending on what the new agent needs. They may be a very experienced agent that just needs to get up to speed on our tech stack or a brand-new agent who needs full-service mentoring."
From a technology standpoint, they are excited about DeltaNET Academy and how that can help improve their tech training process.
Supporting Their Team
The support doesn't end after an agent finishes their training — it's only the beginning. As previously mentioned, supporting their agents is one of the top priorities for Badger Peabody & Smith Realty. Support means providing and assisting agents with using all the right tools and resources to succeed.
"Both companies have been focused on providing agents with the tools, resources and support that they need to best do their job," says Jessica. "We have staff members who assist the agents with the paperwork and putting listings in the MLS. We have our closing coordinators help with the closing process. We have our in-house marketing team, which is amazing because they can do projects that if we outsourced it, we wouldn't be able to do."
Supporting their agents also means supporting them as human beings, not just as talent. That's why they ensure agents are taking care of their mental health. In a time like this, in a pandemic where buyers are tired and listings feel few and far between, this is especially important.
"There's a buyer fatigue, and there's an agent fatigue; they're trying so hard to do right by their buyers and despite how hard they work, they can't do anything about it," says Andy. "I try not to use the word work-life balance because, in this industry, it's a balance of everything. You live and breathe real estate seven days a week if you're successful in this, but it's balancing all of that and understanding you just need to be able to encapsulate and walk away from it and take care of your own mental health."
The support at Badger Peabody & Smith Realty includes not only the staff supporting the agents but also the agents and staff supporting each other. And that support goes beyond the office.
"From a cultural standpoint, we rally to each other's causes and support each other professionally and outside the workplace," says Jessica.
The real estate company has found this support not only fosters a great work environment but also provides excellent results for agents.
"Our average agent in 2021 did 24 sides, so certainly higher, much higher, than the industry average, and of course, we have some that do three times that," says Andy. "For the most part, everybody shows up and takes their career very seriously, and we want to always provide them with the highest level of support so that they can do 20, 30, 40 sides."
Although supporting your agents certainly goes a long way, showing appreciation can be highly valuable too. That's why Badger Peabody & Smith Realty makes sure to let agents and staff know they're appreciated on a regular basis. While that can simply be done through daily praise or words of affirmation, the company holds several annual events to show its appreciation for its agents and staff on a larger scale.
Each year, they hold a gala to celebrate their success from the previous year. This February, they held their annual gala at the Omni Mt. Washington Resort in the grand ballroom. Everyone got dressed up; they had a delicious dinner, a photo booth and a raffle to win prizes. During the event, they gave out awards to agents and gifts to the staff. Since they had just recently launched their new brand and firm, they wanted to make this year's event extra special for everyone, and it was.
In addition to the gala, they had a company event at Mt. Cranmore over the summer, where everyone got to socialize and take a ride on the chair lift overlooking the mountain. This was a great way for agents and staff to catch up, get outside and enjoy the great outdoors.
Badger Peabody & Smith Realty doesn't only believe in showing appreciation for those who work for the company but for their customers too. Another annual event they host is the Customer Appreciation Barbecue. They've been hosting this event for almost 20 years. This year, they brought in a food truck to offer free meals to customers.
Connecting as a Community
Before the merger, both teams were made up of people who believed in serving their community and maintaining a community-oriented approach to their business. So, when the two came together, engaging with the community was a top priority for everyone.
One way they support the community is through providing sponsorship and donations. In 2021, the company gave over $35,000 to local community organizations. Some of the organizations they have supported include Pope Memorial Library, Good Neighbor Food Pantry, the Boys and Girls Club of North Country, Holderness Historical Society and the Colonial Theater.
Merging Has Its Perks
Aside from working well with one another, there have been some obvious perks to Badger Realty and Peabody & Smith Realty joining forces. First off, they can now expand their reach, covering more area. Before merging, although they worked within the same region, they never really crossed paths. They each had their own territory, and they stuck to that. Now that they are working together, the team has more space to explore.
"Covering such a large service area with the two companies together has been wonderful," says Debbie.
Also, with the merger, they are seeing growth on all sides. By combining referrals, they have been able to expand their customer base. This has allowed them to hire more agents and even add some new and necessary staff positions — such as a Manager of Agent Success. This position, held by Gaige Pequeno, has made a huge impact on keeping agents engaged and informed in all processes.
"We were both in the 30-agent range independently, which is a good size for the kind of rural area that we're in," says Andy. "But it still wasn't quite big enough to do some of the things we thought we could do if we joined forces and then it would just maintain our competitive advantage, and it certainly has done that so far very well."
Another benefit, particularly for the Badger team, was becoming part of Luxury Portfolio International®, the luxury division of LeadingRE. While they were always in that second-home and vacation market, they weren't part of Luxury Portfolio International, which Peabody & Smith Realty was. So, by merging with them, they could offer a luxury affiliation for clients and customers. With Luxury Portfolio International, they can now market globally, allowing them to advertise in higher-end magazines and on global websites for the first time.
"Although we could market locally and nationally, joining forces and being a part of Luxury Portfolio International has given us advertising opportunities that as a smaller company, just the budget allowing for that kind of marketing was difficult," says Debbie.
Couldn't Have Done it "With Anyone Else"
Badger Peabody & Smith Realty believes that Delta played a significant role in the merger's success. Jessica says, "I don't think we would've been able to do it with anyone else."
For them, it wasn't just about the technology Delta provided or the strategies. It was the dedication and commitment to helping them they valued most.
"Delta is more than just a tech platform," says Jessica. "They have been an integral part of the strategic portion, the advising portion of the merger and have been a reliable 11th-hour lifeboat throughout — providing that 'Oh my god it's 9 p.m., things are breaking down, and someone will hop on a Zoom call with me,' type of unparalleled support on more than one occasion. Plus, the fact that an agent can call the helpline and troubleshoot with a live person is unheard of these days and very much appreciated."
The staff at Badger Peabody & Smith Realty feels that Delta has consistently kept their company goals in mind and shares the same values for customer service.
"Once the agent gets that relationship, gets the lead, sells them a house, whatever it is, we want that customer-for-life relationship to be forefront all the time," says Andy. "It's a good partnership with Delta because they feel the same way, and they have helped us refine that."
There are many tools and features that Delta offers that have made both the staff and agents at Badger Peabody & Smith Realty's lives easier as well. These include being able to work within both the back and front end of the CRM, view and comment on seller reports, make customized marketing materials and send campaign emails to lifelong and potential customers. Chrissy Smith, VP/ Sales & Marketing at Badger Peabody & Smith Realty, sees that the agents are happy and more productive using Delta.
"I think what's nice about the DeltaNET is the agents like it," she says. "Of all the CRMs they've used in the past, it's the easiest to navigate and to understand, and so the bottom line, the agents really like it."
Looking to the Future
Now that the pandemic is seemingly coming to an end, it's time for Badger Peabody & Smith Realty to look to the future. They are excited to be back in the office and be able to collaborate in person again. They are also excited to be back to hosting events and plan to continue coming together in 2022.
Even with all the fun, the work doesn't stop — the team is always generating new ideas. They have a few marketing and social media initiatives in the works they're looking forward to launching soon, such as a social media campaign to get to know their agents.
"It's nice because it's out there for the public to see who the agents are, but we're also able to use that internally where agents can read about each other in a more personal manner and kind of get to know a little bit of background on those agents as well," says Chrissy. "So, I think that'll be a really nice piece to help everyone learn more about each other."
While the industry will always be unpredictable, the staff at Badger Peabody & Smith Realty remains optimistic.
"I think our industry is going to survive the next couple of years in fine shape," says Andy. "We can't sustain 15% or 18% appreciation, that's not going to happen, but overall, I think the agents are going to have a good year in 2022. I think buyers that have been patient and struggled and put in 10 offers and lost, everyone will see more inventory coming in the next 60 to 90 days, and they'll be able to get into a house."
Managing to master a merger in the midst of a global pandemic is certainly something to be celebrated. The benefits of the decision are clear, and both companies' core values remain intact. With all the right tools, including DeltaNET, and their dedication to their agents, community and customers, there is nothing they can't accomplish.
We look forward to seeing Badger Peabody & Smith Realty continue to grow, and as they do, Delta will be there every step of the way to lend a hand.
Building a Custom CMA Has Never Been Easier Than With Delta Pitch.
On May 30, Delta Media Group® will release Delta Pitch, a Comparative Market Analysis tool that makes it possible to create a CMA in as little as one click.
Building a custom CMA has never been easier. And to top it off, Delta Pitch is integrated with the DeltaNET®, so you don't have to look far for it. This feature goes hand-in-hand with DeltaNET® 7, Delta's next generation of customizable, automated real estate technology releasing this fall.
So, how does it work? It's as simple as entering an address and clicking the link to build a CMA. You have a beautiful, company-branded CMA with comps, recent pending's, and more in just one click. Built on top of an AI platform, it will provide all relevant properties and other important information in an attractive, interactive flipbook. Other features include:
Delta Pitch will also be integrated into our AVM platform. When a customer comes to your website and enters their property address, they automatically get an automated estimate based on the current listings in their area. As an agent, this gives you the opportunity to land a new listing. Making it easy, the system creates a digital CMA, comparable to a flipbook that you can then send to the lead, with little work on your end.
Michael Minard, Owner and CEO of Delta Media Group, says, "Delta Pitch is more than a CMA builder; it's an entire presentation builder."
Join Franklin Stoffer (Vice President of Sales at Delta Media Group) on Wednesday, May 25 at 2:00 p.m. EST to take a first-hand look at the new DeltaNET Pitch. Don't miss this chance to see Delta Pitch first-hand and how it can transform your presentation process.
Click (here) to register for the webinar.
Virtual showings took the world by storm in the wake of the pandemic. Buyers and sellers alike needed to shift their perspective on virtual technology quickly to adapt to a new world. Agents and brokers had a challenge ahead of them: To learn and implement the new technology.
As the public health situation improves, virtual showings are still going strong.
However, more and more buyers want opportunities to return to the traditional way of seeing a home. In the past, open house events have stood out among the best ways for agents to meet new leads. It is sometimes possible to get an offer from a qualified buyer on a home in just minutes, too.
Although there will always be some people who are just curious, most people who go to a conventional home showing are interested in buying in the very near future. Although these events take planning and foresight, they help the agent connect with the local community in a powerful way.
Unfortunately, many agents had mixed results with their showings in the past. This might leave some under the impression that there's no space for open houses or showings in their marketing mix.
It's understandable showings seem like a tall order, especially at a time like this! But there is a solution: A property showing manager that lets you quickly and efficiently schedule, plan, and scale showings — whether you're doing one a month or several every week.
Enhance Your Showings with a Unique, Independent Local Showing Manager
On paper, the idea of a showing seems simple: Prepare the home, invite guests, and follow through. A quick tour, some questions and answers, and you may be well on your way to fielding qualified offers. In practice, though, there's always a little bit more to it than that!
You want to make the process quick and painless for yourself, your seller, and visitors to the property. At the same time, you also need to make sure the time you invest produces real business value — that means getting information for follow-up from every participant, including the "no shows."
For the first time, you can do it all with Local Showings — an independent solution designed just for you.
Local Showings is Delta Media Group's response to an overwhelming desire among agents and brokers to have a fully integrated solution that works with their technology rather than requiring them to start over with something new. It operates as a standalone product and within your DeltaNET®6 real estate all-in-one solution.
Here's what you can expect when you try it for yourself:
Don't settle for partnering with the competition — use a modern solution from a leading property technology firm. Contact us to learn more or schedule a demo to see how Local Showings will work at your practice.
When it comes to email marketing in real estate, looking at the numbers can help you determine what works and what doesn't.
At Delta Media Group, we service brokerages of all sizes across the United States. From independent agents to more than a dozen of the RealTrends TOP 100 brokerages in the nation. Earlier this year, I took the time to conduct a thorough analysis of the adoption rates, email statistics, and general website performance of some of our largest partners to get a gauge of what "true adoption" looks like, as well as what kind of email marketing was being done by some of the top-performing brokerages in the nation.
Let's start by looking at the adoption statistics because those will play directly into the volume of emails sent by these firms. All of the data in this report is from 1/1/2021 thru 1/1/2022. Of the 12 brokerages analyzed, they had a collective 12,000 agents within their organizations.
As I started to review the usage of our DeltaNET® platform, one thing immediately became clear to me. Some companies use technology regularly and have made it a part of their company culture. Other firms simply offer a CRM to "check the box" and are not actively promoting or pushing its use. In the last edition of our Real Estate Marketing & Technology magazine, I talked about the importance of building a healthy culture of technology. If you aren't talking about it, if you aren't sharing the wins, eventually, the technology will become an afterthought in your organization.
That's why "adoption" statistics can be tricky to analyze. Large tech vendors want to use those numbers to convince brokerages that they have the magical technology that agents will finally want to pick up and use. The reality is that no brokerage will ever have a 100% adoption rate of any technology. There are too many real estate agents that are just looking for a company to hold their license and are only in real estate as a part-time job. In a year, they'll, maybe, record one or two transactions. And that's okay; real estate doesn't need to be a full-time career for every agent. That also means it's okay to know you will never get everyone on the same page.
When it comes to our largest organizations, some saw a very healthy adoption where more than 80% of their agents were logging into the system on a regular basis (at least once a month) and having some type of activity within the system. That could be building a flyer, changing their website, or responding to leads. Other organizations saw as low as a 39% healthy login rate. The numbers varied wildly across the board, with the average healthy adoption rate coming in around 61%.
This falls in line with a concept I've also talked about in this magazine before — the "30-30-30" rule. 30% of your agents will rarely use your tools. 30% of your agents will probably use your tools but will need to be coached/trained/and motivated to use them. This group is where most training directors spend their time. The final batch of agents is the ones who are pushing brokerages to get these tools and will use them often.
The number of agents using the system will directly translate into how many contacts exist within these brokerages' CRM platforms. You need contacts in a system in order to market to them. We found in our data that, on average, 80% of agents inside these 12 companies had actually uploaded their contacts into their CRM. In total, 4.6 million contacts were receiving reoccurring marketing from these brokerages. That is huge! These larger firms had roughly 386,000 contacts in their pool to be regularly contacted.
So you've got agents using a CRM, you've got them uploading contacts, and the goal is you want to be marketing to these contacts, boosting your brand impressions, and providing something of value to the potential home buyer or home seller. The content they're receiving needs to be valuable. Things like new listing alerts, market updates, regular newsletter content relevant to their interests, or seller reports. At Delta, we have seven distinct channels of email marketing. Those are:
Homefinder Reports: New listing alerts that can run instantly, daily, weekly, or monthly.
Market Watch Reports: Market statistics updates that run weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, or quarterly.
Seller Reports: Detailed statistics on how a listing is performing on the market. View counts, engagement, showings, etc. These run weekly or bi-weekly.
E-mail Drip Campaigns: Various automated touchpoints like holiday emails or buyer campaigns. They are relationship-focused and have a large variety of email volume. It could be one email a week or four emails a year. It all depends on the type of campaign.
E-cards: These are graphics-heavy emails that usually are focused on displaying information within the email and not focused on driving traffic back to a website.
Email Blasts: This is an email that is built and scheduled to run on a specific day and time to a pre-set group of customers.
My Customer For Life: Our AI-Driven newsletter contains curated content for home buyers, sellers, and general home improvement. Any contact within the CRM can receive this newsletter, which has 12 new articles added monthly. The newsletter tracks what type of content customers are engaging with and starts to become a curated newsletter of content relevant to the customers' interests.
Here is a breakdown of how these different channels of email marketing performed:
Over the course of one year, our clients sent more than 43 million emails to a total of 4.6 million contacts. On average, it appears that enterprise brokerages are hitting a contact with a little over nine emails per year. However, that number will be inflated as the home finder emails are really new listing alerts running to buyers who are actively looking for a home. If you remove those 11.5 million emails, it's really closer to seven emails per contact per year for general branded emails.
Personally, I think the best cadence for email marketing is more like 12-18 emails per year. You should be increasing your brand impressions significantly by giving these clients valuable information like our Market Watch Reports or our My Customer For Life newsletter.
Let's break down some of the findings from this data.
1 — the types of email marketing running from the DeltaNET perform extremely well compared to most online email marketing analytics. Your average open rate should be around 17%, and your average click-to-open rate should be around 6%. These benchmarks come from campaignmonitor.com. With that in mind, it's clear that there are three stand-out emails in our marketing suite that everyone should take notice of.
2 — Market Watch Reports. We encourage all agents using the DeltaNET to enroll their customers to receive these types of detailed market reports. If you have a potential buyer looking to move to a new area of town, you can enroll them to receive these reports. Or, if you're looking to keep a long-term relationship with a customer, you can enroll someone who just moved into a new house to receive these market reports. Perhaps they purchased at $240k, and a few years later, they see homes in their market selling for an average of $280k. They may be inclined to list and sell again once the price point gets high enough. These emails have a massive 65% click-thru rate. This means the customers opening these emails are almost always clicking on them to be sent back to your website. There is a huge opportunity here.
3 — Seller Reports. While this is the lowest volume of emails coming from our system, it's clear that home sellers are paying attention to them. Seller Report emails have a 63% open rate, the highest of any type of email I've ever seen statistics for. If you have active listings, your seller should receive these detailed emails.
4 — My Customer For Life. This email newsletter is clearly working. I believe it may be the magic bullet for email marketing, and we didn't even realize we had it. Our Digital Marketing team has added new content articles to this newsletter for nearly five years. To date, MCFL has more than 750 articles of content that fall into three categories: Buyer, Seller, and Home Owner. If I receive an agent's branded newsletter in week one, it will show me all three types of content. Let's say I click on a seller article. Delta tracks that. Next week when I get my newsletter, it will have two seller articles and a home improvement/buyer article. If I click on that sell article again, I am flagged in the agent's CRM as a potential seller, and now the newsletter will always contain more seller content because that's relevant to my interests.
The MCFL newsletters have a 59% click-thru rate. This is one of the best online marketing plans you could subscribe to, and the best part is that it's included in our DeltaNET platform with no extra charge. Other online marketing companies would charge anywhere from $20 to $50 per month to subscribe to a newsletter that gets that much new content each month. And it's not just for your email either. This content is also designed to be automatically shared on your social channels after you've connected your
DeltaNET to Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, or Instagram. You get great reoccurring social content and email newsletter content automatically each week.
As the data shows, email marketing works. Our top 12 clients saw nearly six million impressions of their brand through email and drove more than 1.6 million visitors back to their websites. If you're looking to step up your game on email marketing, the first place to start is your CRM. Make sure you have agents uploading contacts to market to. Once you've got contacts to email, you should get into a rhythm of reoccurring newsletters, dynamic email drip campaigns, and setting up market watch reports for all customers. Specialized emails like seller reports and home finder reports are great for sellers and buyers. Finally, you can use tools like email blasts to send mass notifications about things like company events.
If you'd like to set up a consultation to review your email marketing strategy, please don't hesitate to reach out to one of our Software Consultants at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The real estate industry is always innovating, and new technology often alters the way that agents serve clients. Today's real estate clients are typically much better informed than they would have been in years past, but that doesn't change the fact that they still rely heavily on their agent throughout the process. So while your role may have changed due to technology, that same technology also holds the key to putting people first and generating a steady pipeline of referrals from satisfied clients.
Putting people first starts with providing easy access to the information they need to make informed decisions when they're buying or selling a home. This is one of the key ways that the role of an agent has evolved due to technology. In the past, the agent was the primary, direct source of information for clients. Today, you can provide much of that data through your real estate website and other online resources, which frees up more time to put your clients first in other ways.
Leverage Technology to Be Responsive and Share Your Expertise
Providing all of that data, information and market analysis, up front leads to more informed clients, but that doesn't mean that they won't still rely on your expertise. Technology also makes it much easier to communicate with modern real estate clients who expect speed and responsiveness from their agents. Whether you're communicating through SMS text messaging, instant messaging apps, social media, email, or video calls, being available to clients is still a key part of the job description. Clients have questions, you have answers, and technology makes it easier to handle those communications in a quick, convenient manner.
Technology Unlocks Time to Be the Trusted Advisor Your Clients Need
While technology has changed the real estate industry, it doesn't change the fact that buying or selling a home is a monumental, potentially life-changing experience for your clients. They don't just want an agent who will provide them with the facts and then get out of the way. They want someone who understands where they're coming from, values their time, and advocates for them at every step of the process.
By taking advantage of the time-saving benefits of real estate technology, you have more time to be the trusted advisor that clients need in order to buy or sell a home with full confidence that they're making informed choices. They count on you to help them negotiate, navigate the closing process, and handle the key details from the start of the process to the day that they sign the paperwork. Technology makes it easier to focus on providing the best possible experience for your clients, and that's truly what it means to put people first.
Does Your Real Estate Tech Make It Easy to Put People First?
If you're still devoting too much time to tedious tasks that could easily be handled by the latest real estate technology, there's a better way. DeltaNET®6, our all-in-one real estate solution, puts at your fingertips all of the tools you need so you can put people first. Make life easier for everyone by choosing the best real estate tech for the job.
Artificial intelligence is no longer just a sci-fi fantasy, a dream of data scientists, or a catchy buzzword. The technology for AI has developed so much in recent years that it's quickly making an impact on — and potentially reshaping — nearly every major industry. Real estate is certainly no exception, with AI already making its presence felt in both subtle and obvious ways.
Does that mean that agents will soon be largely replaced by AI, with little work left for humans to do? Fortunately, you can take a deep breath, exhale, and know that your job is not in danger from AI. The truth is that AI in real estate can save you tremendous time on monotonous, repetitive tasks, allowing you to spend more of your working hours on the things that matter most.
Let's start with the basics. When we talk about AI in the present day, we're not talking about an all-seeing, all-knowing computer like you've seen in movies or read about in novels. Today's AI is designed to handle specific tasks in a fast, reliable, consistent way. Here are some of the ways that AI can lighten your workload on repetitive tasks and create more time for you to serve your clients:
How Will You Invest the Time Saved by AI?
The examples above are just a few of the ways that AI can make life easier for real estate agents and dramatically speed up tasks that once took up far too much time. That means less work on the tasks that you probably didn't want to be doing anyway, but not less work overall.
Ultimately, the promise of AI in real estate is that you'll have more time to focus on the work that really matters. Think about every day that you've wished that there were just a few more hours to get done everything you needed to do. AI helps make that dream a reality without compromising on productivity or sacrificing your free time. All you have to decide is how to invest those hours that once went to tasks that can now be handled by AI.
The Future Is Bright for AI in Real Estate
One of the exciting things about AI is that despite the significant progress that's been made, we're still only scratching the surface of what the technology can do. The future is bright for AI integration in real estate, and we'll be sure to continue bringing you the best, most modern tech to help you thrive as a real estate agent.
This September, Delta Media Group® will launch DeltaNET 7, a new technology leveraging automation and artificial intelligence. DeltaNET 7 will be "the most customizable, most automated all-in-one platform in the marketplace."
"We will be launching the easiest-to-use, most automated CRM solution — and more importantly the deepest customization available — to give brokerages their own all-in-one platform that they control, making it completely unique from what their competitors are using," says CEO and owner of Delta Media Group, Michael Minard.
With DeltaNET 7, real estate brokerage customers will be able to create their own platform with individually customized branding and feature options, allowing them to have complete control over design and navigation.
One special feature that will be available with DeltaNET 7 is a way that brokerages can design specific "roles" to deliver a personalized experience for each agent, based on the specific tools they use. DeltaNET 7 also offers a mobile-centric and customizable workflow, eliminating "endless scrolling." And it allows you to create specific training courses for your platform through Delta Academy.
In addition, DeltaNET 7 is completely integrated with Delta Websites, which features patent-pending SEO, the Delta Academy training system, and a full catalog of digital marketing tools — including Ad Wizard, Local Showings, Properties in Motion, and Open House Connector.
"With DeltaNET 7, our highly successful integrations, automation, and artificial intelligence will be enabled by default. So instead of asking real estate brokerages what tech tools they want to feature, we will be coming to them with a data-driven success model giving them the ability to choose what they want to customize," says Minard. "This will help firms do more business in less time, utilizing data analytics that only the largest technology firms can provide."
The customizable technology will also introduce Delta Pitch, a new "two-click" Comparative Market Analysis tool. With this tool, when an agent enters a property address, the system automatically pulls all the data it needs to create a digital CMA, offering a "flip book" for agents to share with their clients. Delta Pitch then allows agents to automatically launch a Zoom video call to share and review the CMA with their client, making marketing presentations a very simple process for agents.
To learn more about how DeltaNET 7 will streamline your workflow and boost productivity, contact our team today.
With the eldest in their cohort entering their 40s, the Millennial generation is coming into its own. It's already the largest generation in the U.S. workforce. In recent years, it is also the top generation in both home buying and first-time selling.
Coming up just behind is Generation Z. Believe it or not, the oldest members of this generation are in their mid-20s. They're finishing college, launching careers, and starting families. One of the biggest success stories of the last few years is their strong showing in the housing market.
While Millennials were once wary of buying a home, they are tired of renting. On the other hand, Generation Z always had high hopes about homeownership. With a mindset that harkens back to their grandparents, they see buying a home as a critical goal for early adulthood.
Both these generations will continue to transform the world of real estate for years to come — and that starts with the adjustments agents and brokers need to make. No matter how skilled or experienced you are, you need a digital marketing strategy to connect with today's customers.
Virtually All Your Future Customers Start their Home Search Online — Are You There?
According to the National Association of Realtors, 95% of buyers reported using the internet to search for homes in 2021. On the other hand, just 7% of those surveyed said they touched a newspaper during their search. The typical first-time buyer was also relatively young, 33 years old.
Regardless of age, 41% of recent buyers started their search by going online to do their own self-paced research. Only 19% of buyers began the process by contacting a real estate agent. Once they did find an agent, 91% of buyers said that person was a "very" or "somewhat" useful source of information.
From the moment buyers first show interest in looking at a home, your digital marketing has a chance to hook their attention. The earlier you make first contact and provide value with useful online resources, the more likely you are to be the agent buyers ultimately choose.
Since many buyers don't reach out to real estate agents until well into their process, your #1 asset in gaining their trust is effective digital marketing. Every piece of digital marketing collateral you create makes it more likely you'll be found in online searches relevant to your business.
When you are found early, you can position yourself as a trusted expert and be there every step of the way. That becomes even easier than ever before with today's sophisticated digital marketing, such as video marketing — which spotlights the human touch and builds real rapport.
Let's take a closer look at some digital marketing "must-haves" for today's agents:
Contact us today to accelerate your digital marketing with the power of automation.
There are so many modern tools to make life easier as a real estate agent, but jumping from platform to platform in order to take advantage of your tech can chip away at your productivity gains while making it harder to find the data you need, when you need it. The solution? A reliable, all-in-one platform that combines all of the tech you need in one convenient hub. Here's how to make your technology work together, and give your productivity a boost in the process.
Making your technology work together starts with embracing an innovative, simple all-in-one solution like DeltaNET®6. With the right real estate CRM, all of your technology and key client data are in the same place, always ready when you need them.
Building great relationships with clients is at the core of real estate success, and your technology should make it easier to manage relationships effectively. That starts with having the data you need when you need it. With a real estate CRM, you don't have to worry about tracking down client data from notes and disparate sources. You will always have the most up-to-date information on your clients, with the data you need to provide great, personalized service at your fingertips.
Lead Segmentation and Nurturing
Of course, real estate technology isn't just valuable for maintaining relationships with current clients. It's also the key to generating, segmenting, and nurturing leads to help you bring in new business. Automated lead segmentation makes it easy to sort through your leads, determine where each lead is in the purchasing/sales process, and ensure that you reach them with the right message at the right time. You should also have access to lead nurturing tools like email drip campaigns, AI-driven newsletters, eCards & flyers, and email templates.
Marketing Properties and Connecting Clients with Homes
Marketing properties is more complex than ever, with so many different tools available to help you promote your listings and connect buyers with the right home. Start with virtual open houses and showings, which allow buyers to tour a home virtually no matter where they're located. Or spread the word locally with printable listing flyers. You can also keep your clients up to date on the latest happenings in their market with auto-generated My HomeFinder, Market Watch, and Seller Reports. Keep clients informed with the information they need, make it easier for buyers to search for homes, and show sellers all of the modern ways that you promote their listings.
Automation of Key Tasks
Your real estate technology should save you time, not take away valuable time from your busy day. Automating repetitive marketing tasks is one of the best ways to guarantee that you'll save time while ensuring that clients and prospects always get the most timely, relevant content for their needs. We've already covered many of the automation tools that your tech should include, like email drip campaigns, AI-driven newsletters, and auto-generated reports on real estate markets. All of these tools make your life easier and help you maximize your marketing opportunities.
Data and Analytics
In order for your tech to truly work together, you need access to data and analytics that help you make informed decisions. That includes keeping track of your own data on matters like email marketing, but also the data that your clients provide. With IDX search tracking as well as tracking for property searches, saved properties, and views, you can anticipate the needs of clients in order to provide them with the best possible service.
Real Estate Website
Just like you want your tech to work together in order to make your days more efficient, your clients and prospects want a real estate website that works together to provide everything that they need. That starts with IDX listing integration and MLS search to help them find the perfect home. You will also want real estate content, to provide advice, highlight your markets, and tell the story of your business. When your website has all of the features that your audience wants to see, it becomes a constant source of lead generation for your real estate brand.
Ready to Take Your Real Estate Tech to the Next Level?
If you're tired of being pulled in every direction by technology that doesn't work together, there's a better way. DeltaNET®6 makes it easier than ever to market your business, grow your brand, serve your clients, easily integrate with other popular tech platforms, and discover data-based insights that can help you thrive. You shouldn't have to choose between having great tech and having tech that works together. With the right real estate CRM, you get the best of both worlds.
Credibility matters in real estate. As a real estate agent, you want to start building trust with your target audience as quickly and effectively as possible. Trust matters to clients who are considering referring you to people within their own network and to prospects who are sorting through their many options to find an agent they can trust with one of the biggest financial decisions of their lives. Fortunately, there are more tools for building trust with technology than ever before for real estate agents.
Building Trust with the Right Technology
While there are many good, old-fashioned trust-building tips that still apply now as much as ever, we're going to focus on some of the many modern tools that make it easier to build trust with a tech-savvy audience. Not only can the right technology help you build trust, it can also make your life much easier in the process.
Know Your Clients and Their Needs
Most of our tips will focus on building trust with prospects, but it's wise to remember that the process of building trust with existing clients never really ends. One of the best ways to build strong relationships with clients is to remember who they are, their real estate goals, and the details of any interactions that you've already had with them. The right real estate CRM makes it much easier to keep track of all that data and guarantees that you have it at your fingertips whenever you need it.
Build a Great Real Estate Website
A great real estate website might not be the first thing that springs to mind when you think of building trust, but it's a critical factor in a number of important ways. First, modern real estate prospects simply expect any agent they're considering to have an appealing, informative, modern website. Most people start their search for an agent online, so they're more likely to choose an agent with a robust, engaging online presence than an agent with a dated website or no website at all.
But it's not just about being seen. As you'll see in the next few tips, your website is also the most reliable place to integrate much of the other trust-building technology on our list. It's where people will consume your content, be persuaded by your social proof, and discover why your brand is the right choice for their real estate needs. So if you don't have a website or your current one is a bit outdated, a fresh investment in your online presence can be a key first step in building trust.
Share Advice and Expertise with Real Estate Content
One of the most straightforward, dependable techniques for building trust and credibility online is to prove to your audience that you know your stuff when it comes to real estate. Creating informative, timely real estate content, whether it's a written blog post, video content created with your phone, or a mix of both, is the perfect way to show your expertise.
Provide real estate advice, analyze market trends, create neighborhood guides, share seasonal home improvement tips — basically, anything that your audience might be interested in learning about regarding real estate. When done right, your content will continue to build trust long after it's first published on your website.
Integrate Reviews and Testimonials
Few things are more trustworthy than a referral, and social proof essentially serves as a referral from an online source. Social proof consists of things like online reviews and client testimonials, which can have a major impact on establishing your trust with an online audience. But even if they're very happy with your services, a client won't necessarily think to leave a review or testimonial unless you ask. Once you have some reviews and especially testimonials, make sure to showcase them prominently on your website.
Build a Strong Social Media Presence
You likely already use your social pages for social media marketing, and that's a great place to start. But are you taking advantage of the other ways that you can build trust through social? As you build your social presence, you will have more and more opportunities to engage with your audience. That engagement is crucial to building individual relationships that can lead to business, and also for proving your real estate expertise to a wider audience.
Build Trust and Save Time by Investing in the Right Real Estate Tech
For building trust with a modern audience, it's only fitting to use the most modern, up-to-date tools. With DeltaNET®6, our digital marketing services, and an excellent, customized real estate website, you can start building trust as soon as a prospect discovers your brand online. Make your life easier and generate more leads by investing in the right real estate tech to build trust with your audience.
Every year, billions of dollars are invested around the world in developing new tech that improves the real estate experience for agents, clients, and real estate firms. Millennials are quickly growing into the largest real estate demographic, and catering to a young, tech-savvy clientele will only accelerate the desire for new technology. And it's not as if people under 40 are the only ones glued to their favorite devices.
When new technology emerges, everyone involved in the real estate industry can benefit. Here are some potential tech breakthroughs that could emerge in real estate in the coming years, along with a few recent breakthroughs that are likely to stand the test of time.
The Continued Development of Artificial Intelligence (AI)
AI has already helped the real estate industry accomplish some great things, whether you want to send timely, personalized reports to clients or develop a more accurate analysis of real estate market trends. But in many ways, we're only scratching the surface. The global investment in AI is immense, just like the future potential of the technology.
Consider the benefits of robust virtual assistants that can help guide clients through the process of buying or selling a home, taking some of the workload off of agents while providing a valuable service to clients. Already, some of the biggest real estate websites are also using AI to help match clients with the perfect loan, or the perfect home. Some of the biggest tech breakthroughs in the near future are very likely to involve AI and machine learning.
With so much new tech emerging in recent years, one big breakthrough that we're already beginning to experience is the streamlining of real estate technology. With a real estate all-in-one solution like DeltaNET®6, you have the technology for managing leads, marketing properties, connecting with clients, and analyzing data in one convenient package. Expect the streamlining of real estate tech to continue as new tools are introduced, allowing agents to save time, increase productivity, and focus on what matters most.
Clients and agents alike dread the pile of paperwork that comes with closing on a home. Wouldn't it be nice if documents could be securely, reliably read and signed anywhere, from any device? The technology to do so is already emerging and should play a major role in real estate transactions in the coming years.
Taking Advantage of the Latest Tech
Focusing on the future is fun, but not at the expense of the present. Some of the tech that has risen in popularity during the pandemic is likely to remain important and be improved upon for years to come.
Where Will Real Estate Tech Take Us Next?
Just 5 or 10 years ago, it would have been hard to predict all of the game-changing tech that has shaped the real estate industry today. And that's part of the fun! While we can make educated guesses about AI and other new tech, there's always the possibility of a breakthrough that almost nobody saw coming. With such a substantial investment of brainpower and funds in creating breakthroughs, it will be exciting to see where real estate tech takes us next.
When it comes to training options for real estate technology, there are a few different schools of thought on what works best. Some want videos, others swear by user guides. At Delta Media Group®, we're big on easy, on giving you — the one using all of that tech — the power to transform your training into exactly what you want and need it to be.
That's why we're thrilled to announce the launch of DeltaNET® Academy, available directly within the DeltaNET CRM. With DeltaNET Academy, users have access to slideshow-based training courses that break down Delta Media Group's industry-leading, all-in-one CRM and wealth of features to their basics, making them simpler than ever to understand. Only a few clicks and admins can easily:
Custom course creation also allows admins to set the metaphorical syllabus. Building your own courses is easy: Choose what you want to highlight and assign it to your team. Then, when a course is completed, associates can take a quiz to ensure they've got a handle on all the information. Plus, DeltaNET Academy tracks who's doing what within the system, so you'll know exactly where everyone stands. Consider it a progress report — we're sure everyone will be a pleasure to have in class.
Don't forget our promise of easy, either. DeltaNET Academy provides a user-friendly, intuitive platform that doesn't feel like a hassle or homework. We're still offering videos and guides, but we're also giving our clients more options with hands-on, engaging learning that gives the power of training back to brokerages.
"When building DeltaNET Academy, we weren't looking for a tool that 'checks the boxes' when it comes to its capabilities," Director of Partner Success Harley Wolfarth says. "DeltaNET Academy gives our users control over course content, visibility, assignment, and even tests/quizzes while keeping those controls and settings in places where you expect to find them. We think we've made something that will make your life easier, not just because your agents and staff can be better trained by the courses you create, but because the process to create those courses is clear and easy as well."
Evolution is part of our Delta Media Group-DNA, so you can be sure we're already working on plans to expand the training offerings within DeltaNET Academy as well. And best of all? DeltaNET Academy comes without any extra cost. No hidden fees. No surprises. Just comprehensive training that gives you and your associates the knowledge to make real estate's most powerful CRM and tech tools work for you.
No one wants to get schooled by their tech. So, jump to the head of the class with DeltaNET Academy and learn the ins and outs of Delta Media Group's game-changing features.
"DeltaNET Academy is a platform to not only educate team members with pre-populated real estate CRM and marketing training, but it is also the platform to empower firms with the ability to create their own custom training programs for anything," Delta Media Group CEO/Owner Mike Minard says. "I'm excited to see how DeltaNET Academy transforms how real estate professionals leverage technology further as they are more empowered in their understanding of how much powerful technology is available to them today."
When it comes to success, momentum makes the difference.
Momentum is what turns a long, hard slog into a purpose-driven effort, even an adventure. No matter if you work alone or in a large brokerage, momentum is great for morale and protects against burnout. It provides a sense of direction and helps you deflect distractions.
Unfortunately, momentum can be difficult to build at first. Once you have it, though, it becomes much easier to sustain. In real estate, you have many opportunities to give yourself the tailwind that sets the stage for progress. At any size or scale, technology is the key.
Why Technology Matters in Boosting Your Momentum
Momentum is forward motion. When you need to maintain forward motion over long distances, friction is your worst enemy. You can see examples of this in day-to-day life. For example, it takes an average of 23 minutes to get back on task after a distraction. Every distraction creates more friction.
As long as you're focused, it feels like you can go on forever. When the illusion is broken, not so much.
Luckily, today's best real estate technology is built around the idea of creating a seamless experience for everyone — buyers, sellers, and the professionals who serve them. Technology won't replace you (or the human touch). It simply sets you up to do more of what you do best, faster, and more effectively.
Let's look at some of the ways technology is smoothing the path to successful transactions.
Digital-First Approaches Are Here to Stay in Real Estate
Real estate was already making some promising forays into the digital realm in 2019. Then the pandemic hit. Of all the industries completely transformed by COVID-19, real estate moved the fastest. It had to — there was no other way to protect everyone involved in a transaction.
As it turns out, buyers and sellers alike love virtual tours and virtual open houses. Even as the public health situation changes, these are here to stay. Sellers no longer need to welcome crowds of strangers into a lived-in home. And buyers can expand their search radius without traveling any further.
What does it all mean for the real estate agent? Get comfortable in front of the camera and you can do a full tour more quickly and easily. Connect with the right title company and others and your customers can benefit from a complete digital closing experience. That's increasingly becoming a differentiator as Millennials step up their homebuying activity and Generation Z steps in.
All in all, that leads to seamlessly serving more people faster — and getting better results for everyone.
A Real Estate CRM Suite Gives You a Bird's Eye View of Your Customers and Contacts
Speaking of "seamless," there's nothing less worthy of the name than the old way of managing contacts. Only a few years ago, most real estate agents had filing cabinets stuffed with information on leads and prospects. It would take a day each week to figure out where everyone stood.
"Following up" usually meant calling on the phone, and that wasn't always welcome.
The right technology demystifies your network like never before. Customer Relationship Management for real estate is here. Not only can it centralize the details about everyone on your radar — it serves as an AI-driven center of excellence that scores your leads and cues you when and how to follow up.
The DeltaNET 6 CRM taps directly into your website to keep its finger on the pulse of your business 24 hours a day, whether you're awake or asleep. It can help you orchestrate outreach campaigns, including email marketing, social media, and much more — sending interest-based, event-driven updates to those on your list who want them most. That helps you cultivate your relationships seamlessly.
The Best Technology Is Indistinguishable from Magic – Today's Real Estate Technology Is Pretty Close
Today's buyers are ready to search for, evaluate, and close on a home completely on digital platforms. Sometimes, they do it from thousands of miles away. It's a brave new world out there — and with the right technology in your corner, you can do less and accomplish more.
How's that for momentum?
Today's real estate software has the potential to bridge distances in incredible ways and keep your key relationships humming even when you're otherwise occupied. It ensures you are always moving forward — and you end up with more hours in the day to do what matters most.
That may not be magic, but it's pretty close.
You can incorporate the next generation of real estate marketing automation into your business in as little as a few days and win back dozens of hours within just a few weeks. Contact us at Delta Media Group to find out more or get started.
No matter whether you're a solo real estate agent or work as part of a 100-person brokerage, you're sure to see new challenges in the coming year. The housing market is evolving fast. Buyers and sellers alike will be affected, and they'll count on you for the expertise to reach their goals.
Technology will be the key to adapting, growing, and flourishing in 2022.
Some agents worry new digital tools are diverting attention from the relationships at the heart of the industry. But good technology doesn't replace relationships; it deepens them by empowering you to communicate clearly and consistently with more people.
Real Estate Technology Is a Strategic Multiplier for Your Business
From the very beginning, the purpose of technology was to reduce human labor. Look at all the "simple machines" that the ancients came up with and this one factor ties them all together. The same is true of the best real estate technology available today, despite how sophisticated it is by comparison.
Equipped with the right technology, one person can do the job of many. A small team can stand toe to toe with one several times its size. In the past, it was not unusual for most of the benefits of technology to go to the largest organizations with the most resources — thankfully, that is no longer the case.
Even solo real estate agents working without a support network can now make an impact on their local market faster than ever. Growing, mid-sized firms should look to technology before raising headcount.
It's that powerful.
Where bigger brokerages leverage their strong brand awareness to increase market share, smaller ones need to differentiate on performance. Whatever special skills and unique talents you bring to the table, technology helps surface them and bring them to your ideal customers faster than you could before.
Let's look at some of the different ways that plays out in practice:
Today's technology can't do it all for you, but it ensures you maximize your time spent on what really matters most — your customers, your strategy, and the value-added activities that move you toward your goals. You can get it all in a single high-performance AI-driven center of excellence for real estate.
Contact us to discover real estate technology that helps you get more done in less time at any size.
There are many ways to find success in real estate, but the most successful modern teams also share some very important things in common. One key commonality is that thriving teams prioritize the integration of tech in a seamless, accessible way to ensure that every member of the team can easily stay on the same page. Tech helps teams in so many ways, from managing leads to showcasing properties and automating key marketing tasks with the help of AI. Here's why teams do better with tech and why every real estate team deserves the best possible tools for the job.
Making Sure That Your Team Is on the Same Page with Tech
Before we get into some specific tech that can help your team thrive, it's important to look at how your team uses tech in general. No matter how great a tool might be, you can only maximize its value when your team is on the same page about when and how to use it. That's why it's so crucial to ensure that every member of your team is trained in how to use the tech that's relevant to their job, and that they're encouraged to use it.
Some sales associates will jump at the opportunity to integrate new tech into their workflow, while others may take some convincing before they make new tech a reliable part of their daily schedule. Encourage the use of tech by building confidence, showing your team the benefits, and training them so that they can make the best use of their real estate tech.
How the Right Real Estate CRM Can Help Your Team Thrive
Your real estate CRM is the hub for so much of the key tech that can help your team improve their efficiency and effectiveness. The right CRM will help your team with marketing, lead management, and all of the nuts-and-bolts tasks that are crucial to real estate success.
Does Your Team Have the Right Tech?
One more thing to remember about tech is that your team is more likely to embrace it if you provide them with the best possible tools. That's why our DeltaNET®6 real estate all-in-one solution is the best choice for your real estate team. We're constantly innovating with new tech to help your team thrive, and DeltaNET®6 combines everything that your team needs to succeed in one convenient package.
SEO — search engine optimization — is a suite of best practices aimed at two goals:
Reaching the top of any significant Google search doesn't happen by chance. It's possible only when you practice search engine optimization throughout your website. Although it might seem like an intimidating prospect, SEO becomes much easier when you have the right resources in place.
SEO Is Your Key to Affordable Organic Leads for Your Website
Your real estate website is one of your most important assets. In fact, it's second only to you in its power to deliver business value.
You're the star of your brand — and you'll always be at center stage. But there's one pesky thing about humans, even real estate agents: We have to sleep at night. Even when you're doing something else, your website is always hard at work on your behalf, introducing people to your brand.
Making your website work for you should be one of your biggest goals in 2022, especially if you're early in your career. A website that attracts, qualifies, and converts leads helps take a lot of the pressure off your business. You no longer need to hustle constantly for new prospects.
And that means you can spend time up-leveling your skills and deepening existing relationships.
All in all, real estate agents who don't find a way to create the right balance are on their way to burnout. The most reliable way to yield ROI from your website is to make sure it appears prominently in search, and the only programmatic way to do that is to practice SEO.
In our SEO services for real estate, we've consistently seen small, mid-sized, and large agencies reach thousands of new leads after implementing best practices in search engine marketing. That adds up to less than $10 per organic lead, just 0.001% of what a single transaction could be worth.
Even solo real estate agents can stand shoulder to shoulder with their larger competitors if they choose a long-term focus on SEO. Unlike online advertising, SEO delivers compounding benefits in organic traffic that are virtually free of charge. By comparison, ads stop working for you as soon as you stop paying.
Use SEO for months and even the wealthiest rival can't come along and reproduce your success.
And the sooner you get started, the sooner you'll see results.
How to Get Started with SEO for Real Estate
With DeltaNET 6, the premier CRM for real estate, you can get off to a running start on SEO. But even if you want to take a do-it-yourself approach, SEO isn't really as fearsome as it appears. By knowing some of the basics, you'll have much more power to influence your digital marketing's direction in the future.
Here are the fundamentals that will turn you into an SEO-savvy real estate agent:
Once you see results from SEO, you'll wonder how you ever did without it. Contact us to learn more about its role in real estate digital marketing.
Virtual tours took center stage in 2021 when agents from coast to coast needed to find new, more effective ways to protect their clients. But even as restrictions on travel and gathering draw to an end, they are still in high demand.
Virtual tours are convenient for buyers and sellers alike. Sellers no longer need to worry about inviting large groups of people into a home that's still occupied. Buyers have the opportunity to greatly expand the radius of their search without doing a lot of extra travel as a result.
Virtual tours were already starting to take hold prior to the pandemic, but they skyrocketed more than 750% in the month after shelter in place orders were enacted across the United States. Since then, they have seen steady adoption at agencies and brokerages of all sizes.
Now, virtual tours have been a regular part of doing business for more than a year. Time has taught the industry a lot. Homes with virtual tours get substantially more engagement than those without. In fact, visitors spend up to 10x more time on listings with virtual tours than those without.
But virtual tours can have a steep learning curve for agents.
How can you use them to the best advantage in your listings?
Six Ways to Make a Virtual Tour Easier and More Effective than Ever Before
It seems like there are new tech skills for agents to tackle every day — and let's face it, few people came to this industry from a past career as a videographer. But you can get a strong start with virtual tours by keeping a few simple ideas in mind. Even if you're already using virtual tours with some success, you can continue to improve by making sure the right fundamentals are in place.
Contact us at Delta Media Group to discover just how easy good virtual tours can be.
Real estate technology is constantly evolving, with valuable new tools that can help agents better serve clients and run your business more efficiently behind the scenes. The most successful modern agents take advantage of the latest tools to make their lives easier, boost their business, and provide the best possible service for clients. So if you want modern agents, you need to have modern tools. Here are some key tools that you can use to help your agents modernize their habits and reach their full potential.
What Does It Mean to Be a Modern Agent?
If we have learned anything from the last couple of years, it's that being a modern agent means being prepared to adapt. Adapting to changes in technology, changes in how real estate business is transacted, changes in client habits, and changes in the wider world that impact the real estate industry. Embracing technology is the best way to adapt to all of those changes with confidence and stay up to date in the ever-evolving nature of the industry.
Changes in demographics, like the current trend of tech-savvy Millenials and Gen Z clients entering the real estate market for the first time, further stress the need to take advantage of the latest real estate technology. Modern agents are ready to serve clients in the ways that best fit their needs, and that means using real estate technology to make life easier for everyone involved.
Start with the Right Real Estate CRM
If you want to provide your agents with the best tools for the job, the right real estate CRM is the perfect place to start. Modern agents need access to reliable, accurate client data, marketing tools to generate new leads, and virtual tools that make it easier to conduct business in our modern world. DeltaNET®6 provides all of the tools that your agents need to serve their clients in one convenient package.
With DeltaNET®6, agents can easily manage relationships and generate new business. Take advantage of integrated email marketing, AI-driven newsletters, automated lead segmentation, and smart drip email campaigns to cultivate leads. Use SMS text messaging to stay in touch while making the most of virtual open houses and showings to accommodate modern clients. Track IDX search activity, integrate IDX listings, and track property searches to see what leads are searching for online.
And those are just some of the features that your agents will love when they dig into all that DeltaNET®6 has to offer.
Tap Into Your Artistic Side with Creative Studio
Modern agents wear many hats, which often means tapping into their creative side with things like listing brochures, flyers, email templates, and social media posts. Creative Studio makes it easy for agents to get creative, with accessible, easy-to-use graphic design tools that can give all of your marketing materials a professional shine. Easily design your own layouts, or use pre-designed templates to speed up the process while still getting great results.
Creative Studio also works well with DeltaNET®6, allowing you to quickly upload photos and listings directly from your CRM for a seamless design process. You can even store online versions of the materials that you create, have them sent to a print shop, and have the results delivered directly to your door.
Quickly Provide Accurate Valuations with Our AVM Report Platform
Business is booming in the real estate world, which is good news for real estate professionals but also presents some unique challenges. One of the biggest challenges that comes from a highly active real estate market is that there are major inventory shortages in many markets. Providing accurate valuations is always important, but especially so when inventory is so low compared to demand.
Our AVM Report Platform makes it quick and easy for agents to find the accurate valuation information they need, when they need it. They can easily catch up on the latest market conditions, quickly find the data that they need within the platform, and provide accurate estimates for clients from up to five independent sources. The reports that clients receive include multiple calls-to-action to generate conversions while providing them with the accurate, market-specific data that they value. It's all driven by AI, which helps the process automatically improve over time as it receives more data.
Help Your Agents Modernize Their Practices by Providing the Best Real Estate Technology
The bottom line: If your agents don't have the best tools for the job, now is the time to upgrade your real estate technology. The investment that you make in technology more than pays off with more efficient, modern agents and satisfied clients. From online marketing to relationship management and AVM, our team can provide your team with the tools that they need to thrive in the modern real estate industry. Contact us today to get started.
For years, Zillow has seemed like the big bad wolf of the real estate industry. Since the company's 2004 founding, Zillow has steadily expanded its reach into territories where only an experienced real estate agent could help you buy or sell a home. Now, the company garners millions of web visits a month and threatens the success of local real estate experts. And despite the news that Zillow is shutting down its homebuying business, that doesn't mean the company will go away — nor does it mean other competitors won't try to achieve the same goals as Zillow but with better efficiency.
The good news is that tactics like Zillow's haven't been tested by time the same way those of the traditional agent have been. In fact, you have an advantage over Zillow and all the other online real estate companies that want to be on top: you're a real-life expert that buyers and sellers can trust. With that in mind, Zillow-proofing your business is not only possible, it may even come easy! Here are 5 steps for taking on Zillow.
For more tips on how you can Zillow-proof your business, contact us today.
Real estate has come a long way in a very short time.
Looking back on the history of our industry, it's easy to get distracted by the profound changes of the last few years. With the start of the pandemic, agents and brokers at all levels needed to completely rethink their business to keep themselves and their clients safe.
Even though the public health situation is beginning to change, real estate thought leaders still focus lots of attention on the new best practices revealed by this situation. While that is important, it's crucial not to miss the forest for the trees. In truth, real estate has been in a period of flux for over a decade.
Even though those changes have unfolded gradually, they are all driven by the same thing:
Changing customer preferences.
Zoom out from the pandemic and take a look at the longer trends, many of which were accelerated in 2020. Gone are the days when new buyers would look for real estate agents in the phone book or drive around the neighborhood to spot any "For Sale" signs in front yards.
In-person outreach is still effective and it isn't going away, but the great majority of future customers will find you online. Most new home searches start online. The younger a customer is, the more likely they are to have a "digital-first" mindset — but elders are getting involved in growing numbers.
This gives agencies and brokerages unprecedented power to attract the right leads to their door.
Today's Real Estate Experts Need to Look Toward Data-Driven "Scientific Marketing"
Scientific marketing describes an approach to marketing in which data is used to create hypotheses, test assumptions, and make continuous improvements so you can allocate your budget toward the initiatives that make the greatest impact on your bottom line.
All businesses that operate online face some of the same challenges. Data provides the answer to both today's issues and tomorrow's. For example, there's no point in posting on Twitter if all of your leads come from LinkedIn. By comparing ROI across channels, you can optimize your investments.
But where, precisely, does the data come from? And what's the ultimate goal?
In real estate, most of the data you collect and apply to your business helps you with lead generation. Your digital assets have the power to attract the right leads to you 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Your website is at the center of that effort. Every visitor to your site offers you a trove of data.
Your analytics suite is the software that helps you transform that data into actionable insights.
What Is Analytics Software and How Does It Work?
In modern real estate, analytics takes place on two levels:
These two systems often work together. For example, the analytics suite on your website can keep track of the exact blog articles someone has read. Your CRM then compares these activities to the behavior of leads who converted into customers in the past.
When a strong match is found, an AI-driven CRM can let you know — helping you follow up at the right time and in the right ways. With a clear understanding of a lead's individual interests, you have the opportunity to craft truly personalized correspondence and start a meaningful conversation.
Machine learning and artificial intelligence empower today's analytics software to make connections that would be invisible to even the best-trained human analyst. A centralized, "all in one" CRM may have the capability to evaluate not just thousands, but millions of data points in search of a pattern.
The practical benefits are twofold:
Step Into the CRM Age: Better Performance with Less Manual Labor
Another critical benefit to artificial intelligence is the sharp reduction in manual data entry.
Not only does this mean less time spent typing in names, dates, and figures, but it will also narrow the scope of human error. That's vital when you're working with email marketing, online advertising, or any other scalable system where you might be in contact with dozens, hundreds, or thousands of people.
There's no need to take an artisanal approach to everything you do: Data makes life easier and doesn't call on you to sacrifice quality. DeltaNET®6 is today's state-of-the-art solution that not only collects data but highlights the lessons buried within, so your business can act right away.
Contact us to learn more.
According to research by RISMedia, the most popular technology stack for real estate agencies and brokerages includes these elements:
These correspond with three big concerns real estate pros have: Developing new business, maintaining efficiency in the office, and ensuring properties have terrific listings. Add a dedicated real estate CRM to the mix, and you are ready to really shine.
Technology enhances your capabilities, helping you do more of what you do well and reducing time you spend on routine tasks. Combined with the versatility real estate pros bring to the table and the industry's natural diversity, it empowers you to excel no matter what the market throws at you.
But there's one problem: To reap the benefits, everyone has to be on the same page.
Why Even Great Technology Rarely Changes Your Business Overnight
Solo agents working alone in the home office often have more success implementing and using new technology than their colleagues in large teams. The individual needs to conquer the learning curve, but once that's done, it's easy to get nearly 100% of the potential value from technology.
On the other hand, large teams can face an uneven roll-out when it comes to technology.
Even a highly efficient company that's driven by best practices can fall behind if everyone has a different idea about what their software does, when to use it — and, most importantly, when to work around it. The more people avoid a platform or use their own solutions, the more confusing it all gets.
Software doesn't just make things faster. It gives everyone a common frame of reference, including the same workflow and the terminology to get the job done right. This is especially crucial when multiple professionals need to work together to bring a transaction to a successful conclusion.
The key to making a smooth transition is to understand how technology relates to change management.
Recognize Your Team's Early Adopters and Passive Resistors
In 1962, sociologist Everett Rogers published Diffusion of Innovations, one of the most widely cited works in the social sciences. The book was built around the idea of the Rogers Diffusion Curve, which stated that, within any organization, five different orientations to change would be represented:
Innovators and early adopters are those most likely to embrace new technology. They do so not for its own sake, but because they clearly see and understand the value proposition it offers, whether that's speed, efficiency, accuracy, or whatever else it might be.
On the far end of the scale is the "passive resistor." This is not simply a "laggard" who will come around to new things in time. Instead, passive resistors demonstrate a commitment to things the way they are, often because existing approaches have proven successful for them in the past.
When decision-makers in an organization introduce a plan to use particular software and do things in a certain way, passive resistors are those who demonstrate lukewarm compliance. They might go right on using their preferred methods, which makes your business less efficient and less secure.
Getting Off to a Strong Start with New Technology
"Because I said so" rarely works on children, and it's just as useless with many adults. So, it's important to communicate about technology plans and lead change in a measured, respectful, transparent way. Only once such steps have been taken should active monitoring for compliance be used to close the gap.
Here's how to get started:
New technology may take some getting used to, but it can mean the difference between an average year and blockbuster results. Contact us to learn more about optimizing your use of real estate technology.
Don't let that headline fool you. Despite the title of it, my article for this issue of Real Estate Marketing and Technology doesn't focus simply on technology itself or what's available to you and your real estate company these days, but rather on the management of technology.
With so many options on the market and seemingly more appearing constantly, getting a handle on everything tech-related can be an occasionally daunting task. Try not to let it all overwhelm you. Putting all your tech-ducks in a row doesn't have to be a challenge, and, sometimes, it can even be a marker of your company's evolution.
So was the case with Delta Media Group®.
Twenty-one years ago, I was one of the primary software developers at Delta Media Group, a role I remained in even as my overall job with the company grew and I took on the position of President. Many of you can relate to this as you have grown your own business. At one point, in your yourself being active as a salesperson, accountant, secretary, and even janitor at times. Basically, you do what you have to do to make your business work, and I did the same at Delta.
However, as Delta continued to grow in size, I ultimately evolved into the role of CEO and Visionary of the company. From this perspective, I am still actively involved in the development of the products but at a much higher level. Needless to say, today, I no longer do any software coding.
I share all of this because, in the past two weeks, I found myself, as CEO and Visionary of Delta Media Group, playing with various aspects of our technology offerings. I wanted to personally experience our technology as a user and see if I felt that the technology was delivering what I thought it should be delivering or if things need to change in order to serve our clients better.
Using various aspects of DeltaNET® 6, just like any brokerage or sales associate would, I found myself with two persistent and prominent thoughts. The first is that I was amazed at how much functionality exists today in the system and how mature the technology is. The second is that there are some small things that needed to be addressed, in addition to the large things, that would make the experience so much better. By working my way through the tech, I noticed little things that could be improved, all of which could come together to create a much better product on a much larger scale. I was thinking of good to great and cool to amazing!
And, this brings me to the subject of this article: Getting the most out of your technology. I have a thought for you and a suggestion.
But first, in order to understand that thought and suggestion, I want to consider our approach to rolling out our technology. Today we spend time primarily doing two things for sales associates when we train them during our onboarding process.
The first thing we do is spend about 30 minutes getting them excited about their new technology stack. Most of this presentation centers around all of the cool things that are now available to them; from a CRM standpoint, from a marketing standpoint, from a social media standpoint, from videos to customizable flyers, and all the automations. None of this presentation is a "how-to" type of instructional session. Instead, it is full of visuals and focuses on running a business as a sales professional. It is as far away as possible from a presentation about technology because the sales associates are tired of hearing about technology. Instead, they want to know what they can do with it.
The second thing we do is spend about 30 minutes showing the sales associates how to customize all their settings and set up all their automations, so they are custom-tailored to each one of them. The whole idea is that sales associates today will spend about 30 minutes configuring all their "stuff," their "technology," and from that point forward, it is doing the work for them, saving them time, and helping them actually run their business.
The reason I outline this training is because this training has been massively accepted and endorsed by the sales associates since we implemented it about a year ago. They like it so much because it is all about their experience in their own business coupled with configuring the tools to do exactly what they want them to do for them. In addition, customizing the tools for their business allows sales associates to manage their technology without feeling as if they're stressing over it.
So, my overall thought for you is this: When was the last time you, personally, experienced the business side of your business? I'm talking about the experience of your customer, your sales associate. What would it be like to put yourself in their shoes for a moment? And what do they want when they use the technology your business offers?
I ask this because to get the most out of your technology, you have to make sure that your sales associates are able to do business in the most efficient manner possible, using the technology solutions being provided to them by you.
I would suggest that you need to do what I see most, if not all, of our large firms doing. They spend an extensive amount of time, generally on an annual basis, combing through their technology, cleaning it up, automating it, upgrading it, connecting it, and personalizing it to their market and their sales associates. Taking the time to truly examine your tech — and determine what else you need or what changes need to be made — is a crucial step in helping your business grow.
I suppose I will close this out by saying that while it's easy to see tech as a daunting foe, the purpose of good technology is to assist your day-to-day life. In business or otherwise. So, take a moment to look at it all from a different perspective. To consider what's working and what isn't and keep this in mind while you do; a little bit of advice I remember hearing from Zig Ziglar when I went to see him speak 20 years ago: Inspect what you expect.
Data is a big topic — not only in real estate but in every industry where digital technology offers insights.
Data can seem esoteric and opaque to gregarious, relationship-focused real estate professionals. But you don't have to be a data scientist to make sense of it all. Instead, you need the right tools to connect those figures with your business outcomes.
Data is crucial in real estate because, as in other selling professions, it provides an objective source of truth to fact-check expectations against results. When challenges arise, it's no longer necessary to fill in the blanks with "hunches" or "gut feelings."
Instead, you can know precisely where your limited time, energy, and budget are best spent.
That means you can continuously, consistently improve.
No single piece of data is a North Star. You'll need data from a variety of sources. Synthesizing them, you can create a total picture of your business. That leaves you with less ambiguity to navigate and a much shorter path to actionable plans.
Let's see how it all comes together.
The Biggest Types of Data You'll Use in Real Estate
It wasn't long ago when real estate agents had access to very little data. They would meet people, follow up, and track the outcomes of their conversations. Between encounters, however, the lead's mind was unknowable. Even if it seemed like leads were moving forward, it wasn't necessarily the case.
Then, as today, it could take weeks or months for a lead to dive into the market. There were few high-touch, low-effort ways of staying connected until that happened. Phone calls and in-person meetings were the norms. By comparison, today's leads provide an enormous amount of data.
That's just one area where data has clarified the picture. Let's zoom in on the crucial types of data that shape the real estate world:
Three Steps to Leverage Your Data for Greater Success
Ask data scientists and they'll tell you data is always increasing in two ways:
As time goes on, these effects increase and compound one another. Luckily, you don't have to worry about vast oceans of data. With sound processes, you'll stay laser-focused on finding and using the data most relevant to your prospects, leads, and customers. That, in turn, propels your business forward.
Delta Media Group helps you achieve repeatable, reliable marketing and growth through data. Contact us to find out more today.
When it comes to "Technology Adoption Rates," I have seen a plethora of articles from technology vendors as to what should be expected from brokers/owners. Some vendors in the marketplace boast an eye-popping 90%+ agent adoption rate for using technology tools. Other vendors settle for adoption rates as low as the 30% mark. After years of analyzing trends and data from brokerages utilizing the DeltaNET® tools, I believe that I can share what should be the honest, realistic answer.
First and foremost, we must address what the definition of "adoption" is. In the context of technology adoption, the definition provided by Merriam-Webster is "the act or process of beginning to use something new or different." The reason I bring up this definition is because you will find an abundance of varying opinions when it comes to technology vendors advertising their adoption rates. I am choosing to follow the worldwide accepted definition of adoption for this article.
I have found throughout my tenure educating real estate professionals that the word "training" has quite a strong negative connotation. Nobody wants to sit through another 2-plus hour training course detailing the latest technology being deployed by their brokerage. The fact of the matter is that real estate agents endured a bevy of technology rollouts over the last 20 years, all of them driven by dozens of factors. Asking your agents to sit through another new technology class to learn something new is an uphill battle. Our philosophy at Delta Media Group® is that technology needs to be intuitive, and it needs to work for you. The question isn't "How do I use this technology?" but "What does this technology do?"
Inside the DeltaNET® 6 CRM, which is the underlying technology I will share adoption numbers for, we've focused on innovating how agents think about technology tools. Most CRM trainings focus on the step-by-step process of conducting various aspects of the platform: Click CRM, select customers, select add new customer. Within the DeltaNET 6 CRM, that 3-step process is accomplished simply through our patent-pending "Quick Actions." Rather than the agent needing to know HOW to add a customer to the system, they can simply type into the quick actions bar "Add Customer," which will bring that feature directly onto the page they are working from. It transforms our training from a "Here's how you do
The other differentiator I wanted to share before I dig into our true adoption numbers is that our CRM is not a simple "what you see is what you get" solution. We designed our entire intranet platform to be customizable for each unique brand and brokerage partnering with us. That means if you want to "white-label" the DeltaNET to look and feel more like an internal tool developed by your organization rather than an out-of-the-box third-party CRM, that is possible. As just one example, one of our partners, Coldwell Banker Real Estate Group, based near the Chicago region, launched the DeltaNET as the "Galaxy" platform. Their agents don't just have the DeltaNET CRM; they have a version called the "Star CRM." This type of customization encourages agents to utilize the unique tools provided by their brokerage as they won't find that same experience elsewhere.
So what is a realistic and accurate adoption rate for new technology being implemented throughout a brokerage? In my experience, the vast majority of brokerages follow what I call the "30-30-30 rule." 30% of agents are begging for new tech and tools to use. They are usually a part of the younger crowd and are the people who should become your champions of tech, pushing how amazing it is through the rest of your organization. This is the group that should be primarily involved in the decision-making of any new tools you are looking to bring into your suite of services.
The second 30% of users are what I call the inbetweeners. They could really go either way. Any adoption/training strategy should focus on getting as many of this group on board as possible. They are the career real estate professionals who fall right in line with NAR's standards for a real estate agent. They do a healthy number of annual deals and are committed and focused on improving their careers. Your job as a leader should be focused on getting this core group of users excited about your tech tools, as they are the crowd that focused training strategies will really resonate with.
The final 30% of users are the group that you are better off leaving to their own devices. Even as I write this, it sounds harsh. Still, any professional in a leadership position within a brokerage understands that the reality of running a real estate company means you will have a group of agents that just will not use the technology or marketing services offered by your firm. This group of agents is primarily made up of those holding a real estate license more as a hobby than as their career. They may have a handful of transactions each year, but they are not really focused on growing their own business. Being an agent is a post-retirement career or a second job for many in this group, so taking time out of their day to learn a new technology tool just isn't appealing. You likely won't ever get them to engage.
That last observation is not in any way meant to be disparaging to those agents or to display a defeatist attitude. I believe in business there is no better way to convey an open and honest conversation than by trusting the data and having a dialogue about what it shows. Logical thinking often wins out on emotion in the realm of business.
Something that I often hear in my "30-30-30 rule" conversations is a question regarding the remaining 10% I haven't already discussed. What I've found is that the remaining 10% of agents typically fit into one of those three categories I mentioned above, but where they fit changes based on the culture of the brokerage. Many smaller boutique brokerages have a stronger technology adoption rate because they have technology spread within the company's DNA. It's a part of their recruiting efforts. Many legacy independent organizations have a lower adoption rate because the top producing agents in the organization have been using a strategy that has worked in their business for 30-plus years, pre-dating the modern tech trends.
So what is the healthy and realistic adoption rate for a new technology offering within a real estate brokerage? Our data shows that 60% is the magic number you want to push your team to achieve. If you can get 60% of your agents logging into your technology platform and taking advantage of the services you provide, then that's a win. Many CRM's on the market have key automations built in that can help all agents capture more business, but we believe automation should be defined as "the process of using something new." Our automated technologies, such as automated newsletters like our My Customer For Life campaign, automatically-generated social media posts, automated task lists driven by agents' clients, and more, all qualify as something new.
I'll conclude with some real data from one of our brokerage partners that has been using our technology within their organization for the last three years. This firm has more than 600 agents in its company and ranked in the top 150 brokerages within the RealTrends Top 500.
In the seven days before this article was written, 455 out of 653 agents logged into the platform and performed CRM-related actions (70% of total users). In the previous four weeks, 567 of their 653 active agent accounts logged in and interacted with the technology tools within DeltaNET 6. That is 86% of agents regularly engaging every month with their brokerage-provided CRM/lead generation system. Do you see those types of numbers within your toolset? If not, please consider reaching out to me for a consultation.
As a real estate agent, odds are you didn't pick this career so you could write the next great American novel.
But, just like marketing, writing is a skill that virtually all real estate professionals need to develop. In fact, you could find yourself writing several hundred words every month depending on your goals.
Don't worry — that's nowhere near as much as a full-time writer, who may need to put out 50,000 words a week to meet deadlines. But it is substantial enough that sharpening your writing skills will make a difference. After all, your ability to craft your real estate listings with the right words is one of the things that makes them so appealing. You have the opportunity to dazzle your visitors, capture attention, and engage all of their senses.
Often, this is the necessary first step before someone books a tour or registers with an open house.
Whatever the case, you don't need to have straight As in high school English to be an effective real estate writer. Even if you snoozed through Rhetoric & Composition in college, you can still bring your skills up to snuff.
After all, you won't be writing five-paragraph essays in real estate. Instead, you'll be conveying in words what you already understand about your ideal clients. If you know their interests, wants, and needs, you can reflect those in your word choices.
The same is true of anything you write about your brand and virtually any other topic. The question is this: how can you accelerate that learning process if you've never written actively before?
Getting Ready to Write: Tips to Put You in a Writing Mindset
Technology Tools for Real Estate Agents to Up Their Writing Game
Spelling, grammar, and punctuation are not exactly the most interesting subjects. Even the vast majority of pro writers don't get energized thinking about them. They are simply a framework to help you communicate your ideas clearly. If any one of them is missing, it makes your copy harder to understand at a glance.
Once you have an idea, you need to execute it. These tools can help:
Writing can seem intimidating, but it doesn't have to be. Simply imagine that you're talking to a client face-to-face and you can go far. To learn more about using the latest digital marketing technology, contact us.
For years, CloudDelta™ has been a great resource for easily sharing secure files quickly with your team. It helps your company save time, money, and valuable resources when all the documents you need are accessible in DeltaNET 6™, the all-in-one solution for your real estate businesses.
Delta Media Group's secure cloud-based management tool ensures you don't need to email large documents to your agents, and you don't need to worry about yet another third-party system you have to support — with one login, you have all the tools you need for digital success.
Here are some of the features CloudDelta™ users already know:
At Delta Media Group, we strive to bring our clients the best products, which is why we're constantly listening to feedback and thinking of ways to make improvements. Even when we think we have something great, we acknowledge our products will evolve over time, as everything does. With CloudDelta™, we've targeted some areas where we could improve form and function, and we're happy to announce this tool is getting a big update!
Here are upgrades coming to CloudDelta™ you can get excited about!
We look forward to the feedback from these upgrades. If you have questions about getting the most out of your real estate technology, contact us today.
If you've spent much time on social media over the last few years, you've probably seen this answer to branded content. It's a snappy retort to what many see as the increasingly unctuous and unwelcome expansion of corporate narratives into social spaces, leaving us subject to advertising seemingly every minute of every day.
To a growing number of people — including many of your future customers — the idea that Wendy's is our wisecracking hipster friend or we're "in this together" with Toyota or United Airlines isn't just unconvincing: it's downright nauseating. The more brands clamor to sound just like us, the more robotic and intrusive it all feels.
Many internet users are covering their ears and averting their eyes rather than engage with it.
Into this world of "corporate personhood" run amok steps the real estate agent or broker.
It's a well-known fact that many real estate agents get a substantial quantity of their leads by promoting their listings on digital channels, especially social media. Some experts have estimated that out of all professional industries, real estate experts are the most active on social media.
Going without a robust online presence simply isn't an option. The question, then, is how you can humanize your digital business. Luckily, you have some natural advantages that can serve you well.
The Human Connection Just Comes Easier for Real Estate Agents
Luckily, you have the potential to go right where so many others go wrong.
Real estate professionals stand out from the pack online for a variety of reasons:
With all of this in mind, you should get excited about the huge potential the digital world holds in store. Your consistent, trustworthy online presence is an extension of your in-person relationship building. Over time, that online activity provides the momentum that brings a steady stream of leads to your door.
That's crucial to building a lucrative, sustainable business that offers work-life balance.
Let's look at some of the ways you can ensure your digital brand has the human touch:
Marketing automation technology doesn't get in the way of relationships; it helps you manage and deepen them. Contact us to learn more.
Digital technology is the ticket to accelerating the sales process. That's especially vital today, as pandemic-related uncertainty continues to shape the behaviors of both buyers and sellers. The right technology means fewer steps must be completed in person, helping everybody to move forward with confidence.
A faster closing leads to better results for sellers, protecting their property from languishing on the market. To hasten this complex process without sacrificing quality, agents must integrate forward-looking technology at every step. A seamless, all-in-one approach to home marketing is essential. For modern real estate agents, that means fully embracing digital.
Let's look at some of the most important pieces in today's real estate technology puzzle:
To expedite the home sale process while delivering superior customer care, more agents are adopting DeltaNet 6, an AI-driven center of excellence for all their digital real estate marketing. To learn more, contact us today.
In case you missed the latest webinar from RETechnology and Delta Media Group: "What's Your Zillow Plan," we have provided the video recording above for you to check out.
Real estate agents have long looked warily at Zillow, a media company that aggregates data on more than 110 million American homes through its website. Since Zillow's launch in 2006, millions of home buyers and prospective sellers have diverted to begin their research on its website and app. Zillow's next move is even more disruptive: It has become a brokerage and is hiring real estate agents.
What can real estate agents do to prepare?
You can do what Zillow can't. This webinar takes a deep dive into actionable steps agents can take to Zillow-proof their business. In the process, you also will learn how to close more deals in 2021.
Marilyn Wilson (RETechnology) and Franklin Stoffer (Delta Media Group) walk you through, step-by-step, how Delta Media can help you beat Zillow – and other disruptors – in your local marketplace.
By watching this webinar recording, you'll get a chance to check out everything explained first-hand and try it free for 30 days. To learn more about the 30-day free trial, click here.
Interested in Zillow-proofing your business?
Click on the following link to download the handout referenced in the webinar: http://dmgre.us/cdf/muy22nh.
As the coronavirus pandemic enters its eighth month, Harvard Business School reports that many people working from home work longer and attend more meetings than before remote work started.
Early weeks of the pandemic saw the workday lengthen more than 8%––a difference of nearly 50 minutes. That adds up to a staggering increase from a 9.6-hour day to 10.8 hours at the recorded activity peak.
Data from more than three million people in 16 world cities showed many types of activity increasing:
With many people wondering if the 9-to-5 workday is gone for good, it's essential for real estate professionals to take a step back and look at the big picture.
Ask yourself this question, "Are you integrating real estate technology in a way that keeps productivity and morale up, and turning back the tide of an ever-expanding workday?"
In many industries, it's common to boast about long hours at work and little sleep. Over the last ten years, real estate has embraced the opposite mindset. Sales associates know managing their energy is just as crucial as managing their time––and it's indispensable to giving clients the best quality of service.
Most of us, in any industry, simply can't give 100% for 10.8 hours.
As with so many innovative real estate firms today, technology can be the driving force behind superior client care and a healthy work-life balance.
Adopting technology into real estate firms isn't without trade-offs: There is a learning curve when sales associates update their workflows to include unfamiliar, sophisticated tools. But beyond the initial shocks of change lie new vistas of productivity that give real estate pros the time and energy to truly excel.
That means having more time for high-touch relationships with clients and prospects, crafting a world-class customer experience, and building a brand you're proud of while still having time to sleep at night.
Technology has been the key to keeping real estate humming during the coronavirus pandemic. As 2020 gives way to 2021, we are hopeful more firms will use new tools to become more efficient and effective.
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Staying connected with clients is one of the most important jobs for any real estate professional. The circumstances of 2020 have shined a light on the vast amount of real estate tech available to help you stay connected with your clients and leads.
Use our guide to the real estate tech your business needs in today's business world.
Ask any successful sales associate in the business for a few years, and they'll tell you that one of their most valuable assets is their database of past clients.
It's simple. The sales associate worked hard to build relationships and help their past clients successfully buy and sell properties, and they know that these past clients are their most important prospects for future transactions.
Almost all businesses are this way. Your best source of new business is either through a referral from a current client or past client or past clients returning for repeat business. These folks already know and appreciate the value of your service or product.
I must admit that I am hesitant to write this article and share my thoughts because this concept has been abused far too long in the real estate industry. With that said and out in the open, I truly believe that we are entering into a new real estate technology era.
Before you completely discount what I am saying as marketing gobbledygook, I ask that you consider my thinking.
As I continually look to the future and plan the technology vision of the Delta Media Group platforms, such as the DeltaNET, I know that, from a technology standpoint, we are on the verge of monumental changes and advancements. These changes are happening right now because of the maturity of some platforms (for example, the DeltaNET is 26 years old), the maturity of computing platforms in general, coupled with a future-looking vision, and the ability to execute on that vision and bring products to market.
Putting myself outside of my technology mind for a moment, let's consider what I see coming immediately for real estate professionals. What does this mean for the everyday user of the technology?
Anyone can find more "stuff" to do. But are you making the best use of your time?
Real estate pros often get sidetracked by time management or productivity systems that don't deliver. Why? One reason is that low-level tasks can be so numerous and time-consuming.
All those things that "have to get done" subtract energy from strategic tasks. At the end of the day, you could find all you've done is tread water without getting closer to the practice you want.
Automation is the solution.
Automation helps you define the workflows to do your job faster, easier, and more efficiently. The must-do items are accelerated and streamlined based on proven, industry-leading techniques.